S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy: Police Truck Kills Woman

Incident near Springmaid Pier shocks beachgoers …

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A female South Carolina beachgoer succumbed to her injuries on Thursday afternoon after reportedly being struck by an Horry County Police Department (HCPD) beach patrol vehicle – and then pinned beneath the vehicle that struck her.

The incident involving the HCPD truck – a 2020 Ford Ranger – occurred at approximately 1:07 p.m. EDT near the Nash Street public beach access just south of Springmaid Pier in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

News of the incident was first reported by Kristin Nelson of WMBF TV 32 (NBC – Myrtle Beach, S.C.).

According to Nelson’s report, witnesses heard a “powerful scream” as the vehicle struck the woman shortly after beginning its patrol on this crowded stretch of beach just north of Myrtle Beach State Park.

What happened? It is not immediately clear, however a witness told reporter Ian Brooking of WPDE TV 15 (ABC – Florence/ Myrtle Beach, S.C.) that the victim was “sunbathing” at the time she was struck by the police truck.



The victim was transported to the Grand Strand Medical Center where she later died as a result of the injuries she sustained.

As of this writing, HCPD has not provided any public comment on the incident. According to Nelson’s report, the agency “refused” to respond to her requests for comment. As of this writing, HCPD has not addressed the issue on its social media, either.

This media outlet has received reports regarding the identity of the law enforcement officer who was driving the vehicle, however we are awaiting formal confirmation from investigating agencies.

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

“This collision remains under investigation,” SCHP lance corporal Lena Butler told Hannah Strong Oskin, executive editor of MyHorryNews.

Butler told Oskin the Ford truck was “traveling northbound onto the beach” at the time of the collision – striking the woman who was “facing east.”

HCPD is responsible for policing fourteen miles of South Carolina coastline:

  • Just south of the town limits of North Myrtle Beach to the Dunes Club in Myrtle Beach (includes Shore Drive, but excludes the town of Briarcliff Acres); 
  • South of Springmaid Pier to the town limits of Surfside Beach (includes the Myrtle Beach State Park and the campgrounds);
  • South of the town limits of Surfside Beach through Garden City Beach to the Georgetown county line.

The Myrtle Beach, S.C. police department (MBPD)’s beach unit is responsible for policing ten miles of coastline.

HCPD is South Carolina’s only county-level police department. The agency was established in 1959 by a decree of the S.C. General Assembly and reauthorized in 1998 via a county-wide public referendum. In the Palmetto State’s other 45 counties, law enforcement at the county level is administered by independently elected sheriffs. Horry County has a sheriff’s office, too, however it is limited to providing court security and running the county detention center.


Victim identified, police issue statement



(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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The Colonel Top fan June 14, 2024 at 7:51 am

How do you hit someone on the beach in the middle of the day?!?

CongareeCatfish Top fan June 14, 2024 at 10:34 am

Same way you hit them on a 4 lane city road in the middle of the day…by not paying attention to your surroundings.

Observer (the real one) June 14, 2024 at 11:42 am

This happened a few years ago, too. Not sure if it was Horry or another coastal county, but a government vehicle patrolling a beach ran over a man who was laying on the beach, I believe causing severe injury to his head. I don’t recall if he died or was facing the rest of his life bedridden and possibly brain damaged, but like this incident, it was horrible.

There should be a ban on routine use of vehicles to patrol beaches unless it is a golf cart or similar that allows the driver to see people laying on the beach and has lower speed and gross vehicle weight.

Condolences to the family of this lady.


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