Deputy's Crash Brings Reckless Homicide Charges

Cruiser hit car carrying a woman and 2 daughters
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 8, 2022 4:45 PM CDT
Deputy's Crash Brings Reckless Homicide Charges
Stock photo   (Getty Images/dominikherz)

A South Carolina sheriff's deputy has been charged with reckless homicide, a month after officials said she ran a stop sign and slammed into a car carrying three people. Deputy Emily Pelletier's car did not have the blue lights or the siren on at the time, said Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano. Stephanie Dantzler, 53; and her daughters, Shanice Dantzler-Williams, 28; and Miranda Dantzler-Williams, 22, were killed. The sheriff's department has finished its internal investigation, WIS reports. "I think we all agree on the facts," Graziano said. "She ran a stop sign and collided with, hit the vehicle that was driven by Shanice."

Pelletier was on her way to help a driver whose car was disabled around 11pm May 8, officials said. Her cruiser was going 73mph when it struck the women's car. The deputy, who was treated at a hospital for injuries and released, has been on administrative leave with pay since the crash, per the AP. Each of the three counts of reckless homicide carries a sentence of up to 10 years upon conviction. The sheriff held a news conference Tuesday outside the family's home.

Graziano said she was troubled that the state Highway Patrol's report didn't directly say the family was not at fault in the crash; she said it was two weeks before the family was told that finding. "Our hearts are broken as well for this family," the sheriff said. Graziano said she's met with every uniformed county employee who drives a vehicle since the accident. "When we're responding to calls, we have a duty to uphold the law and to get where we need to go safely as possible when you call 911," she said. (Read more fatal car crashes stories.)

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