CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A Charleston County deputy involved in a Mother’s Day crash that claimed the lives of three people has been fired from the sheriff’s office.
Documents show the termination letter for Deputy Emily Pelletier was signed Friday just after 12:00 p.m.
“As a result of the internal investigation, Emily Pelletier’s employment with the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office was terminated today for policy violations in the May 8 fatal collision,” said Andrew Knapp, a spokesman for the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol announced Tuesday that arrest warrants were issued for Pelletier in connection to the deadly crash. Their findings in the case have not yet been released.
It came only hours after Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano said during a press conference with the family that Pelletier ran a stop sign, hit the vehicle being driven by the family, and caused both vehicles to leave the roadway.
An investigation revealed she was driving at 73 miles per hour at the time of the crash.
She said the deputy’s lights and sirens were not active and therefore her dash camera was not turned on.
The victims were identified as Stephanie Dantzler, 53, Shanice Dantzler-Williams, 28, and Miranda Dantzler-Williams, 22, of Colleton County.
Pelletier was booked into the Charleston County Detention Center just before 2:00 p.m. on Friday. Her charges include three counts of reckless homicide by motor vehicle.
The now-fired deputy was ordered to not have any contact with the family by any means as a condition of her bond and cannot leave the state. The judge set at bond $75,000 ($25,000 for each count).
Marvin Pendarvis, one of the attorneys for the victim says he feels there is still a lack of transparency from law enforcement.
“Her level of recklessness is a danger to the community and that should be something noted moving forward,” says Pendarvis.
Activists say they’re glad charges were brought on, but believe justice should have gone farther.
“It is ridiculous. I think that her bond should have been a lot higher than that. I think she should have been arrested at least 28 or 29 days ago,” says Pastor Thomas Dixon.
Pelletier’s attorney Francis Cornely said during the bond hearing that this is a criminal negligence case, not criminal intent.
“Emily was a simple servant she was called to this job to help people. As the court is probably aware, she was working in the scope of her employment at the time,” says Cornely.
The victims’ attorneys saying after reviewing the reports of the collision from the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) they are still seeking transparency and answers on why they concluded their investigation.
“The speed limit on New Road is 45 mph. Yet when you look at the accident report, it says she had the right to travel 60 mph. She never drove along Highway 17 at the time of this collision,” says Clifford Bush III, an attorney for Dantzler-Williams and Simmons family.
As the Dantzler-Williams and Simmons family continues to mourn their tragic loss, attorneys representing them say change needs to happen in the sheriff’s department moving forward.
“Questions must be answered as to the supervision, training, and the policies of the deputies. In our community as we have so tragically seen out of control deputies at the wheels,” says Pendarvis.
She was later released after posting bail.
A hearing is scheduled for July 29 at 2:00 p.m.