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Funeral services today for Clover trooper killed in crash

The sound of feet pounding the ground was the only noise that could be heard this afternoon as around 300 law enforcement officers flanked the exit of Lake Wylie Christian Assembly.

Troopers from the S.C. Highway Patrol and officers from agencies across York County saluted as the casket of their colleague, Cpl. D. Kevin Cusack, was taken from the church, draped in a South Carolina state flag.

That same flag and the others at the Moss Justice Center flew at half-staff today in honor of Cusack, who died in an on-duty crash Saturday.

Cusack, 45, touched the lives of many in law enforcement during his 21-year career with the Highway Patrol.

Capt. Marc Wright called Cusack, a father of three, a “kind-hearted guy.”

“He was a Southern gentleman with strong faith who loved his family dearly,” Wright said. “He always tried to help out. He was a trooper’s trooper.”

Wright said Cusack was a straight-laced man who always said what he thought and didn’t have anything to hide.

Cusack, a 21-year veteran of the patrol, was on duty when he died in the crash early Saturday on S.C. 200 about six miles southwest of Lancaster.

Few details about the crash have been released, which the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is investigating. Results could take as long as six weeks to complete, sheriff’s Maj. David Belk said.

Highway Patrol Cpl. Bryan McDougald estimated 700 people -- 300 from law enforcement agencies -- attended the nearly two-hour funeral. The media was prohibited from the service, and Cusack’s family was not available for comment.

Agencies from across York County were represented at the service, as were officers from the N.C. Highway Patrol. Gov. Mark Sanford, 16th circuit Solicitor Kevin Brackett and York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant were among those in attendance.

Speakers during the funeral included Col. Kelly Lancaster of the patrol, retired Maj. Steve McDonald and retired Lt. Bill McKinney.

After the funeral, Wright retold a story McKinney told during the funeral about Cusack. He said Cusack once went to church with $22 in his pocket. He put $20 in the collection plate knowing he didn’t have enough fuel to get home and that $2 wouldn’t cover it. He pulled into the gas station and a $20 bill flew across the parking lot.

“That’s the kind of person Cusack was,” Wright retold from McKinney’s story. “He gave to God knowing that he would be taken care of. And he was.”

In the funeral program, Cusack’s family said they wanted to acknowledge the many calls, prayers and acts of kindness they have received over the past few days.

“Kevin knew and followed God ... his new home is in heaven today,” it read.

First Sgt. Ray Sapp, who worked with Cusack for eight years, said Cusack deeply cared about people, especially those he worked with.

“He loved those guys,” Sapp said. “He loved people in the community, and he loved Clover. That’s why he loved his job -- he was getting to serve the community.”

Cusack spent the bulk of his career working with the Highway Patrol in York County, but he had been working as a supervisor in Lancaster County for more than a year, Sapp said.

Cusack loved to substitute teach at Clover High School, and he often brought driving lessons to the classroom, said McDougald, who went to patrol school with Cusack more than 20 years ago.

“He would bring patrol things, like the DUI dog, into class and talk about the dangers of drinking,” McDougald said.

McDougald described Cusack as a funny, loyal man who was full of character.

Cusack’s final trip will be Tuesday by caisson, a horse-drawn hearse, to Hebron Baptist Church in Scranton, where he will be laid to rest at 11 a.m.

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