CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston County deputy who was critically injured in a deadly July 1 crash on the Don Holt Bridge will continue his recovery at an Atlanta hospital.
The Shepherd Center in Atlanta said 49-year-old Mike Costanzo was transferred to its facility for brain injury rehabilitation. He suffered the brain injury, as well as a broken arm, clavicle and back, a shattered femur and a crushed ankle after he stopped to help the driver of a disabled vehicle and a tow truck driver who had also stopped.
He was admitted to Shepherd Center’s Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, where he will begin therapy under the guidance of a full team of medical and rehabilitation specialists, Shepherd spokesperson Jane Sanders said.
The Shepherd Center specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury.
Costanzo’s family said they are grateful “for the excellent care he received while at MUSC Health University Medical Center.”
Medical and rehabilitation teams typically consist of an attending physician, nurses, an occupational therapist, a physical therapist, a speech language pathologist, a recreation therapist, a case manager, a peer support specialist, a dietitian, a psychologist and a chaplain.
Shepherd Center specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury or brain injury. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is a private, not-for-profit hospital and is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation, Sanders said.
Those who want to send a card of encouragement may mail it to Michael Costanzo, c/o Shepherd Center, 2020 Peachtree Road NW, Atlanta GA 30309.
For those who want to donate online to help support the medical-related expenses for Officer Costanzo, a Serve and Connect account is available.
The tow truck driver, William Ellis, was knocked over the side of the bridge into the water below. Ellis’s body was recovered the next day.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the crash occurred when a Ford F-350 that was hauling a trailer crashed into Costanzo’s sheriff’s vehicle, which then struck Costanzo and Ellis.
Costanzo worked with the sheriff’s office from 1994 to 2006, and returned to the agency in April of 2017.
Deputies say he has served as a much-loved school resource officer at Sullivan’s Island Elementary during the school year and was assigned to the Marine Patrol Unit this summer.
He recently told his colleagues he plans to walk back in the doors of the sheriff’s office in October.
South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Matt Southern said Thursday the Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is continuing to investigate the circumstances that led to the crash.
The MAIT team conducts in-depth investigations and reconstructions on crashes, often those that involve serious injury or death.
Because the investigation remains open, troopers are not releasing details on the crash or whether charges will be filed. There has been no word on when the investigation is expected to be complete, Southern said, because every accident is different.