06/13/2003

Crash Kills 22-Year-Old S.C. Deputy

Officer Down: Deputy Scott Quarles - [Laurens County, South Carolina]

CLINTON, S.C., -- A 22-year-old Laurens County, S.C. Sheriff's Deputy was killed late Tuesday night when his patrol car flipped over on A.B. Jacks Road.

The crash happened just before midnight, about 4 miles west of Clinton.

Deputy Scott Quarles was responding to a call at the Laurens County Speedway, the Sheriff's Office told News 4. Quarles was called to assist other officers at the speedway.

Investigators said that they aren't sure how the crash happened, but that the car went off the right side of the road, hit an embankment and flipped over. Quarles was ejected from the car. He was not wearing a seat belt, Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Steve Sluder told News 4.

Laurens County Sheriff Ricky Chastain said that Quarles graduated from the police academy lasy year, just two days after he turned 21. Chastain said that Quarles' boyhood dream was to work for the sheriff's office. "He was a dedicated deputy," Chastain said.

"He loved law enforcement. It was almost as if he'd eat and breathe law enforcement." Quarles died from a severe head trauma, the Laurens County Coroner's Office said.
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