Family sues Charleston Co. Sheriff’s Office, deputy for fatal crash that killed driver

VIDEO: Family sues Charleston Co. Sheriff’s Office, deputy for fatal crash that killed driver

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCSC) - The family of a man who died following a wreck is suing the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the former deputy who was involved in the crash.

Ronald Jenkins died in May of 2020 in a West Ashley crash when Highway Patrol officials said Jenkins attempted to make a turn and a Charleston County Sheriff’s Office patrol car, driven by former deputy Jason T. Barry, heading the opposite direction struck his vehicle.

Barry was fired from the sheriff’s office and charged with reckless homicide at the time; the sheriff’s office stated that Barry was found in violation of department policies and terminated following an internal investigation.

Attorneys for Linda Powell, Jenkins’ sister, filed the suit suing for negligence against Barry and the sheriff’s office, and are demanding a jury trial.

Lawyers say the Highway Patrol’s investigative team determined Barry was traveling at speeds of up to 74 mph before the collision, and at a speed of 62 mph at the moment of impact.

According to the suit, Barry was not responding to an emergency call or in pursuit of a violator when the incident occurred. Additionally, lawyers said Barry did not have any emergency flashing lights or sirens at the time of the crash.

The suit states that troopers determined that Barry was the sole contributing cause of the collision.

Troopers reported that on the morning of May 21 Jenkins was driving an SUV heading southbound while the deputy’s patrol car was heading northbound on Old Towne Road near North Hillside Drive. According to the Highway Patrol, when the driver of the SUV attempted to make a left turn, the SUV and the patrol car collided.

Jenkins was transported to MUSC where he later died. Barry suffered non-life threatening injuries and taken to the hospital.

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