Chester Co. deputy jumps out of vehicle's path, injures knee

CHESTER -- A Chester County Sheriff's deputy had to jump across a state trooper's car hood to avoid being hit by a suspected drunken driver's vehicle, police said.

Everett Ray Atwell Jr., 36, of Chester, a deputy with Chester County Sheriff's Office, suffered a knee injury during the incident that happened around midnight Wednesday near Cattlemen's Club on S.C. 72, said Sheriff Robby Benson.

A representative from Chester Regional Medical Center declined to release Atwell's condition.

The driver also struck a parked S.C. Highway Patrol vehicle with a trooper sitting inside, Benson said.

Mark C. Love, 40, of York received minor injuries, according to a state traffic collision report.

Love is a trooper with the state Highway Patrol, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald. McDougald declined further comments about the accident.

Authorities charged Joshua Lee Love, 25, of 1777 Rodman Road with driving under the influence, third offense; driving under a suspended license; operating an uninsured vehicle and improper vehicle tag, according to a booking report from the Chester County Sheriff's Office.

Around midnight Wednesday, Atwell stood next to Love's parked vehicle when a vehicle driven by Joshua Love approached, Benson said.

"The deputy was talking to a trooper and had to jump over the hood of the trooper's car to avoid being clipped," Benson said. "If he hadn't jumped over the car, he would have been crushed."

The traffic collision report notes that a sheriff's deputy was standing in the roadway assisting a stranded motorist when Joshua Love, who police say was driving under the influence, struck the deputy and two police vehicles.

Both police vehicles were using emergency lights, the report notes.

Because the incident involved a deputy as well as a state trooper, the accident was investigated by York County Sheriff's Office.

A judge set Joshua Love's bond at $11,147.50, according to police documents. He remained in custody Thursday evening at Chester County Detention Center.