‘His memory will live forever’: Bridge dedicated to Marion County deputy killed while responding to call

Leaders dedicated a bridge Thursday to Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Latu on the...
Leaders dedicated a bridge Thursday to Marion County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Latu on the one-year anniversary of his death.(Source: WMBF News)
Updated: Dec. 17, 2020 at 8:20 PM EST
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PFC. Michael Shawn Latu
PFC. Michael Shawn Latu(Source: Marion County Sheriff's Office)

MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – The Marion County Sheriff’s Office paused Thursday to mark a grim anniversary.

One year ago, Deputy Michael Latu was responding to a call for help when he lost control of his patrol vehicle and struck a pillar on the Highway 501/76 overpass.

He was less than half a mile away from the sheriff’s office at the time of the accident.

“He lost his life in this location one year ago today, doing what he loved to do protecting and serving the people,” said Sen. Kent Williams.

The same bridge where Latu lost his life, now bears his name.

Many of his fellow deputies came out to remember their friend on Thursday during a ceremony at the overpass.

Sen. Williams, along with state congressmen Lucas Atkinson and Roger Kirby, presented Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace with a resolution dedicating the overpass to Latu.

“It’s the least we could do as a delegation to honor one of our own, a man that would put his life on the line no matter what the situation was,” said Williams.

Latu was loved by his colleagues and respected for his work as a deputy.

“You know Mike was our go-to guy and you could call him whether it was 3 o’clock in the morning or 3 o’clock in the afternoon he’d always answer the call,” said Wallace.

Wallace made a promise to Latu’s family that he’d never be forgotten.

Now, as people drive through the overpass, they’ll always remember the sacrifice of the fallen deputy.

“You know Mike has a special place in our hearts, and everyone who knew Mike had a special place in their hearts,” said Wallace. “This allows citizens and people passing through to know a deputy was killed in the line of duty serving the citizens of Marion County and his memory will live forever.”

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