CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston County deputy remains in the hospital with serious injuries following a collision on the Don Holt Bridge Wednesday afternoon after he and a tow truck driver, who remains missing, were struck during a traffic stop.
Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office identified the injured deputy as Michael Costanzo. Costanzo worked with the sheriff’s office from 1994 to 2006, and returned to the agency in April of 2017.
According to Cpl. Matt Southern with Highway Patrol, the Coast Guard and marine patrols are conducting a search for the tow truck driver. Emergency officials say they believe the driver may have fallen over the bridge following the crash.
The sheriff’s office said the incident began just before 10 a.m. when a deputy stopped on I-526 westbound on the Don Holt Bridge to assist a tow truck driver and a motorist whose vehicle was disabled.
SCHP officials said the deputy activated his emergency equipment.
Southern reported that a Ford F-350 truck pulling a trailer then struck the rear of the deputy’s Dodge Charger which in turn struck other vehicles and the responding deputy and the tow truck driver who were outside of their vehicles.
This resulted in the deputy sustaining serious injuries. The sheriff’s office said following the collision, the tow truck driver was not located on scene.
“The USCG and local marine patrol resources conducted a waterway search of the area,” CCSO officials said. ”The Sheriff’s Office helicopter also assisted with the effort. At this time, the tow truck driver is still unaccounted for.”
A Coast Guard spokesman also reported that their agency was searching for a tow truck driver who may have gone over the bridge and into the water when the crash happened.
The crash was reported at 9:51 a.m. and closed all westbound lanes which were reopened that afternoon.
Officials with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office reported that Deputy Michael Costanzo suffered serious injuries and had been transported to the hospital.
“He has served as a much-loved SRO at Sullivan’s Island Elementary during the school year and was assigned to the Marine Patrol Unit this summer,” the sheriff’s office said.