SC

Follow-Up File: S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy

Victim identified, police issue statement, community skeptical …

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The Horry County, South Carolina coroner’s office has identified the woman who was struck and killed by a beach patrol vehicle near the Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach on Thursday afternoon (June 13, 2024).

Sandra “Sandy” Schultz-Peters, 66, of Myrtle Beach, S.C. succumbed to injuries sustained during the incident – which took place shortly after 1:00 p.m. EDT when a 2020 Ford Ranger driven by an Horry County Police Department (HCPD) officer struck her as she was sunbathing.

The truck pinned Schultz-Peters to the sand as onlookers rushed to try and lift the vehicle off of her.

“We lost this wonderful person yesterday (in) a tragic accident,” one of Schultz-Peters’ friends wrote on social media. “I will miss her tremendously.”

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(Facebook)

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The S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) – a division of the S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) – is leading the inquiry into the incident.

HCPD was criticized for its failure to respond to media inquiries in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy. On Friday morning (June 14, 2024), the agency finally posted public comment in response to the “fatal traffic incident.”

“What occurred on the beach yesterday was a tragedy and we know our community is hurting. Our hearts are with all those impacted by this loss,” the statement noted. “We also know our community has questions. We do too.”

In addition to the SCHP inquiry, HCPD is conducting an internal investigation into the incident.

“We have a responsibility to ensure the investigations — both external and internal — occur without delay or interference,” the statement continued. “Horry County Police Department is providing any access and information that South Carolina Highway Patrol may require to complete their investigation.”

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According to the agency, the officer who was driving the truck that struck Schultz-Peters has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the two investigations.

“We stand ready to provide what support we can to our community and the family experiencing this tragic loss,” the statement concluded.

Based on the community’s response to HCPD’s statement, it doesn’t seem as though the law enforcement agency’s belated public statement is doing much to assuage public indignation.

“This was an unfortunate accident that clearly could have been prevented!!” one witness wrote in response to the statement. “We were on the scene today while the state police was working the scene! The person that was killed was not any where near the travel path for beach patrol! They had the area marked off and she was near the bridge at Nash near where the water drains. In no way was she in the middle of the path where beach patrol drives!! Clearly looks like the truck lost control on the sand and was over corrected and cost someone their life!!!”

Count on this media outlet to keep our audience in the loop as this investigation moves forward … and we would ask everyone reading this to keep Schultz-Peters’ family and friends in their thoughts and prayers as they mourn her tragic passing.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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5 comments

dogfan1987 Top fan June 16, 2024 at 9:23 am

Probably the driver was on their phone. Distracted driving is a huge problem right now.

Reply
Why Does This Keep Happening? June 16, 2024 at 2:19 pm

I seem to recall a similar incident along the coast a few years back. In it, another government vehicle ran over a man’s head causing severe injuries. I believe he died weeks or months later in a hospital. There should be a law against any vehicles larger than a golf cart being used for routine beach patrol.

Reply
River Top fan June 16, 2024 at 3:39 pm

Horrible for all. I believe 4 wheelers should be the vehicle used for beach patrol.

Reply
Lloyd Mitchell Top fan June 16, 2024 at 5:48 pm

I noticed that she was a Nurse Practictioner. She will be missed not only by her family but her patients also

Reply
Avatar photo
The Colonel Top fan June 16, 2024 at 7:08 pm

Story says she was sitting in a chair and run over to the point that they had to lift the car off her. Indicates a higher than appropriate speed and a distracted driver. WTF? Several have mentioned that full size pickups are not appropriate beach patrol vehicles (in fact no driver enclosed vehicle is appropriate for patrolling areas with high density of people, like beaches). A gator or other side by side should have been their ride.

No excuses.

Reply

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