Chas. County EMS under investigation regarding death of DUI suspect

Charleston County News

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCBD) – Charleston County EMS is now under investigation, along with the Charleston Police Department, for its role in the death of a DUI suspect.

Following a crash that happened in August of 2018, Nathaniel Rhodes, 58, was placed on a stretcher for transport to the hospital. But an officer signed a ‘refusal to transport’ waiver so that they could instead conduct a sobriety test after finding an open container in his vehicle.

That form, though, should have been signed by the patient and not an officer.

“That signature was in the patient’s block and there were no other signatures on that form,“ said Chief Luther Reynolds with the Charleston Police Department. “So, is that common? I hope not. I don’t know why we would ever have an officers signature on a patient’s block.”

Rhodes was taken to Charleston Police Headquarters where they administered a breathalyzer test.

While there, he complained of severe pain and passed out. EMS crews were brought in and can be seen on surveillance video talking to the patient.

Rhodes was later transported to a hospital where he fell into a coma and died four days later.

We’re told he suffered eight broken ribs, internal injuries and a severed liver during that crash.

Both SLED and Charleston County are conducting investigations.

County Council chairman Elliott Summey released a statement on that decision, saying: “Due to these unusual circumstances and after consultation with Mayor Tecklenburg, I believe an investigation is warranted by the Sheriff’s Office and SLED into these matters. I have sent the request to Sheriff Al Cannon as this is a matter of great importance to the citizens of Charleston County.”

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