Chester County deputy seriously injured after crash with tree truck, sheriff says

A Chester County deputy was seriously injured after an on-duty crash with a tree truck Saturday, officials said.

Deputy Chris Fowler has a broken leg and other injuries, said Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey.

“Deputy Fowler is a fine officer and a father of three triplet little girls, and we are praying for his complete recovery,” Dorsey said.

Fowler had surgery on his leg Sunday morning at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, officials told The Herald. Dorsey said more surgeries are expected in the coming days. He said Fowler will remain hospitalized for “the foreseeable future.”

The wreck happened around 10:15 a.m. on S.C. 9 near Interstate 77, said Sgt. Bill Rhyne of S.C. Highway Patrol.

Fowler was headed east on the highway when the truck was turning onto southbound I-77, officials said.

Fowler had to be extricated from the sheriff’s office patrol car by emergency responders, said T. Melton of Richburg Fire/Rescue Department. He was airlifted by helicopter to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Fowler is in stable condition, Dorsey said.

“I was able to visit with Deputy Fowler at the hospital and we are all hoping that he can make a full recovery,” Dorsey said Saturday evening. “We appreciate everyone’s support and prayers for Deputy Fowler and his family.”

The driver of the truck was taken to a hospital as a precautionary measure, Dorsey said.

The truck driver was ticketed for failure to yield the right of way, Dorsey said.

In addition to the Richburg volunteers, volunteers from the Lando and Lewis Turnout fire departments, Chester Rescue, and Chester County EMS also responded and assisted.

Richburg volunteers said it was difficult handling such a severe crash involving extrication from a patrol car that has extra safety features. Many volunteers know Fowler, volunteers said on Facebook.

S.C. Highway Patrol is handling the investigation of the crash, officials said.

People can donate online to support Fowler during his recovery.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.