KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. – A video of a deputy being struck by a car doing 40 mph in a school zone Thursday morning shows the terrifying dangers of driving while distracted.
Kershaw County Sheriff’s Deputy Chelsea Cockrell was rushed to the emergency room after being hit by an SUV on Thursday morning.
Deputy Cockrell was working directing traffic outside of Lugoff Elementary School in South Carolina while students arrived for class at around 7 a.m.
Her patrol vehicle was parked off to the side of the road and the deputy had her blue lights activated to signal to drivers to slow down. Additionally, NBC 10 reported that Cockrell was wearing a reflective yellow vest.
Considering it was a school zone and it was early in the morning, drivers should have been traveling at a slow pace anyway.
Cockrell was standing in the middle of the road directing cars when all of a sudden an SUV traveling approximately 40 mph plowed through the intersection, taking Deputy Cockrell with it.
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Emergency crews quickly converged on the scene and rushed the local deputy to a nearby hospital. Amazingly, sources say that Deputy Cockrell is alert and talking. She was being treated for non life-threatening injuries and has now been released from the medical center.
The driver admitted to police that he had been looking at his phone instead of where he was going before he struck the deputy. The video captured at the scene shows that the driver doesn’t appear to hit the breaks until after he struck Cockrell.
School zones are usually 25 mph or less. Police estimated that the driver was going 40.
As of Thursday afternoon, no formal charges had been announced against the driver.
Deputy Cockrell’s dash cam caught the entire incident. You can view the video here, but be advised, it displays graphic content.
A Facebook updated from the sheriff’s office said that Cockrell was recovering.
“Deputy Chelsea Cockrell is doing well after being struck by a vehicle while directing traffic at Lugoff Elementary School this morning. She has been released from the hospital and is on her way home,” the sheriff wrote. “This was an eye opening incident that could have ended a lot worse. This needs to be a wake up call to everyone out there who is willing to put their conveniency over safety.”
The law enforcement community continues to beg drivers to pay attention and slow down, especially when traveling through work and school zones. So far this year, 12 officers have been struck and killed by vehicles, and that doesn’t include the other deaths related to vehicular assault.
This story is developing. Please check back with Law Enforcement Today as we continue to bring you updates as more information is released to the public.