A sheriff’s deputy in South Carolina has died and two other deputies were hospitalized as a result of an incident during a traffic stop Tuesday on I-85, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis said.
Two people who were in a vehicle that had been stopped were injured, the sheriff said at a media briefing.
Master Deputy Conley Jumper died at the hospital, officials said. The other deputies are expected to recover, as are the occupants from the vehicle that had been stopped.
According to preliminary information, a deputy pulled over a vehicle on the interstate below downtown Greenville. At some point, at least one person in the suspect vehicle had a physical altercation with the deputies, Lewis said.
During the struggle in and around the vehicle, the vehicle accelerated and collided with a tractor trailer.
According to the sheriff, the exact sequence of events is still unclear, but another deputy’s patrol car collided with the vehicle around that time.
It was not clear whether Jumper took part in the initial stop or was in the patrol car.
Jumper “was a man of integrity and passion. When I say passion. I mean the man was dedicated, a law man,” the sheriff said. “He was truly larger than life. Literally and figuratively. At six foot four, he was a gentle giant who always wore a contagious smile.”
The deputy served the county for almost 28 years, the last of which were spent on an interdiction team, the sheriff said. He is survived by his wife and daughter.
“Jumper was an officer who embodied the true essence of a public servant,” the sheriff said.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is working with the South Carolina Highway Patrol to investigate to the incident.