Activists on Tuesday asked the Highway Patrol for transparency as it investigates a fatal collision involving a moped rider and a Greenville County deputy.
The family of Alan Craig Williams, 47, said at a press conference Tuesday they had not received any information about the incident from authorities.
The Travelers Rest man died early Sunday after a deputy struck his moped from behind while passing another vehicle on Poinsett Highway, according to the Coroner’s Office.
The Highway Patrol is conducting the investigation and the Sheriff’s Office is conducting an internal investigation. The family became uneasy about the investigation after finding Williams’ personal items at the crash site two days after the crash, said Bruce Wilson, founder and CEO of Fighting Injustice Together.
As family members and supporters stood behind him in a room at the Augusta Road Branch Library, Wilson questioned the professionalism of the investigation and said it’s “ridiculous” the victim’s personal items could have been left behind.
Another community activist, Derrick Quarles, also said he was troubled by the investigation to this point.
“If it were a citizen who hit an officer, we know in our hearts that you guys would be investigating more thoroughly and that there would have been no evidence left on the scene,” Quarles said. “So we ask that you would treat this family as you would one of your own.”
The Greenville County deputy involved in the wreck was placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the Sheriff’s Office’s internal investigation. Family members are asking that the Sheriff’s Office and Highway Patrol keep them fully informed about the investigations.
The Highway Patrol has not returned phone messages seeking comment about its investigation.
Williams visited friends the night of the wreck and was headed home when the accident happened, his family said. They said he’d never had a driver’s license and rode a bicycle before the moped.
“He was crazy about his moped,” Williams’ uncle, Robert Duck, said.
Williams’ sister began crying minutes before the press conference and was emotional throughout. His aunt, Cleopatra Foster, said his family will miss him.
“We loved him and he didn’t deserve to die like that,” Foster said.
Wilson noted that less than a year ago another deputy was involved in a fatal traffic accident. Last August, a Greenville County deputy and two other vehicles hit 65-year-old Johnny Melvin Crouch as he tried to cross four lanes of Augusta Road.
“We cannot have these types of deaths in our community,” Wilson said.
The Coroner’s Office ruled Crouch’s death accidental. The Department of Transportation made changes near the intersection after the incident, adding pedestrian crossing signs and a traffic signal.
Wilson said someone needs to be held accountable after this latest incident involving a deputy.
“If I was in the public and done something wrong, I would be held accountable, and that’s all we’re asking,” he said. “If there is a need for this officer to receive charges, retraining, suspension, we would hope that the would happen because we have a young man who has lost his life.”
Fighting Injustice Together asked that anyone who was in the area of 3598 PoinsettHighway near Roe Ford Road, around 11:40 p.m. Saturday night to call the group at 864-558-1031.