‘Epitome of public servant’: Former Chester Co. Sheriff John Holcombe dies after crash

Former Chester County Sheriff John Wayne Holcombe has died after a car crash, officials said.

Holcombe, 73, died Monday after the crash Sunday in rural Chester County, said Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker.

Holcombe’s vehicle hit a culvert off Armenia Road near Lowrys, south of the York County line, Tinker said. Holcombe was taken to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill where Holcombe died the next day, Tinker said.

“John Wayne Holcombe served his community for many years in many ways,” Tinker said.

S.C. Highway Patrol on Wednesday listed the crash as a motor vehicle fatality on its website.

Holcombe was Chester County Sheriff from 1997 until 2001 after he was elected in November 1996. Holcombe was defeated in 2000 in his bid for re-election by Robby Benson.

Before that, Holcombe was a S.C. Highway Patrol trooper for more than 25 years until retiring.

After serving as sheriff, Holcombe was elected as a Chester County Council member until 2016.

“John Wayne Holcombe was the epitome of a public servant,” said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. “He served his country in the military and then spent 26 years as a highway patrolman. Then he was Chester’s sheriff and served on the county council. He gave his heart and much of his life to the people of Chester.”

More, law enforcement officers from all agencies looked up to Holcombe as a mentor, Dorsey said.

The funeral for Holcombe was Thursday at First Baptist Church of Lowrys. The funeral included full law enforcement honors, including the highway patrol honor guard and representatives from law enforcement in Chester County and surrounding counties.

Barron Funeral Home is assisting the Holcombe family.

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