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'A great man': Rock Hill bus driver killed in SC crash was retired York Co. deputy

William White
William White Contributed photo

The Rock Hill bus driver who died in a South Carolina crash Thursday was William "Bill" White, a retired York County Sheriff's Office deputy.

White, 73, died after a collision on Interstate 20 near Aiken. White was driving a Majestic Tours bus when it collided with a truck carrying a military tank, police said.

White, whose nickname was "Snoop," had worked for the sheriff's office for 32 years until retirement, said his daughter, Pamela Daniel.

"So many people in Rock Hill and York County knew my father from all those years he worked in law enforcement to serve them," Daniel said. "He was so proud to be a police officer who helped others."

S.C. Rep. Bruce Bryant, former York County Sheriff, worked with White for decades. Bryant said he heard about White's death and was saddened about a man he respected and loved.

"A great man," Bryant said of White. "Bill White was my supervisor early in my career, and taught me so much about being a police officer and being a servant of the public. I learned so much about life from him. He was my friend. My heart is broken that Bill White is gone. York County and South Carolina have lost a great, great man."

White and the late Calvin Burris, who died in 2015, were the first black deputies at the sheriff's office. They joined the force in 1968.

Capt. Stanley Wells, in his 45th year at the sheriff's office, said White inspired confidence in officers.

"Snoop was a man who was respected by everyone," Wells said. "He was a great inspiration to me and so many others."

When Burris died in 2015, White told The Herald that both he and Burris were extremely proud to be police officers.

Charles "Doody" Dunlap, another retired officer hired in 1972 who still works as a York County court bailiff, worked with White for decades. Dunlap said that White was loved and respected.

White 's dedication to law enforcement and the public continued through his career. White retired as a sheriff's office lieutenant, Dunlap said.

"When I heard he was gone in a crash, it was a shock," Dunlap said. "William White was a great person and he was a great officer."

Kevin Tolson, York County Sheriff, said the sheriff's office family grieves for White's family.

"Bill White was known as a cop's cop who served the public and served his community with great honor," Tolson said.

White was alone on the Majestic Tours bus at the time of the crash, S.C. Highway Patrol troopers said. The crash remains under investigation.

After retirement, White drove much of the past two decades for the Majestic Tours bus company based in Rock Hill, Daniel said. Her father was on the way back from Mississippi at the time of the crash, Daniel said.

June Barnette, who runs another Rock Hill bus company called June's Tours, said White's death has shocked drivers as far away as New York and Florida.

"Everybody who drove a bus knew William White and loved him," Barnette said. 'This is a heartbreaking loss. William was loved by so many people. He was loved in Rock Hill and York County but because he drove for so long and went so many places, people all over many states knew him."

A date for White's funeral has not yet been set, said Daniel.

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald
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