Driver Blows Through School Zone, Slams Into Deputy Directing Traffic

Kershaw County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chelsea Cockrell was rushed to a local hospital after being struck by the SUV.

Lugoff, SC – A distracted driver slammed into a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) deputy as she was directing traffic outside an elementary school on Thursday morning (video below).

The incident occurred in the school zone outside Lugoff Elementary School just after 7 a.m., WCIV reported.

KCSO Deputy Chelsea Cockrell activated the blue lights on her patrol vehicle, then put on her yellow reflective jacket before she walked out into the intersection to direct traffic.

Dashcam footage showed an SUV as it blew through the school zone at speeds of approximately 40 miles per hour, WCIV reported.

The driver slammed into Deputy Cockrell, throwing her into the air, before the SUV screeched to a stop.

The injured deputy tumbled across the pavement, and was soon rushed by ambulance to the hospital, WCIV reported.

The driver of the SUV, later identified as John Michael Carns, told police that he was looking at his cell phone when he mowed down the deputy, WIS reported.

Carns was ultimately cited for texting and driving and driving too fast for conditions, but was not arrested.

According to Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan, Carns knows Deputy Cockrell and apologized to her at the scene.

In an update late Thursday morning, the KCSO reported that Deputy Cockrell was “doing well” and that she has been released from the hospital to recover at home.

“This was an eye opening incident that could have ended a lot worse,” Sheriff Boan said in the Facebook post. “This needs to be a wake up call to everyone out there who is willing to put their conveniency over safety.”

Sheriff Boan said that the collision was “senseless,” WIS reported.

“It never should have happened…Someone should have been paying attention,” he said. “We could have had a deputy die. If it had been a child who had been lower to the ground, we could have lost a child this morning because someone wasn’t paying attention.”

The sheriff’s department released dashcam footage of the crash shortly after it occurred.

“This is why you must pay attention while driving…especially in a school zone!” the KCSO said in the video post.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, WCIV reported.

You can watch dashcam footage of the collision in the video below:

Comments (41)
No. 1-20
sturnman22
sturnman22

Should be arrested and charged with assault or attempted murder - responding officers should have taken appropriate action when he resisted arrest. This is inexcusable.

DSmom
DSmom

Who doesn't slow when they see the blue lights??? Seriously, he must not have been looking up at all!

Stanracer
Stanracer

Should have been charged criminally with at least dangerous driving.

SAAM
SAAM

Was it an ambush? Where is Basement Bunny for his ruling?

Excalibr4
Excalibr4

Texters are the new drunk drivers. Not arresting him sends the wrong message. Why do we have to wait until someone dies to put the person behind bars? He was in a school zone for Christ sakes! This criminal activity is WORSE than DUI, because the driver is sober and knows better. I suppose we will have to wait for Mothers Against Texting Drivers to lobby for tougher laws. https://www.millerandzois.com/texting-driving-statistics.html

Heezels
Heezels

Needs to spend time in jail. No excuse for this kind of recklessness.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

Some states implemented laws where you can be tagged for even holding a cell phone. No touchie............period ! Use a holder and talk into it but not touching it at all. Love it. I've almost been hit at least half a dozen times and lay on the horn. Then they flip me off...........what idiots. They can kill someone all for the sake of a call or text. Put your phone down and newer ones can tell if your driving and auto. send a msg. they will call you back when they've reached their destination.

RetCanMilSpouse
RetCanMilSpouse

Here's a thought. How about you drive and wait until you are parked to read or answer a text. When I get in my car, if I've been texting with someone, I tell them, I'm driving and will answer when I get to my destination. Otherwise, they can call me and chat through the Bluetooth in my car. NEVER EVER TEXT AND DRIVE!!!!!

DarrellB
DarrellB

Dep. Cockrell, Whether you "know" this person or not, it is time to stand up and SUE SUE SUE the driver. Send the message that this new replacement for DUI is NOT acceptable.

javaguy746
javaguy746

texting while driving or gun control. which is worse?

NomonK
NomonK

Tennessee has a HANDS FREE LAW across the State. But it goes to a FELONY in School Zones. A CELL PHONE is the most distracting item inside a car. No this driver has No intention of harming anyone BUT HE DID and he should reap the HARSHEST OF PUNISHMENTS.

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

WTF!!! They need to throw the hammer down on him!! Speeding, ignoring a school zone, ignoring emergency lights, distracted driving, vehicular assault!!!

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

And yet, for 4 years the hacks in the Massachusetts legislature can’t pass a hands free cellphone bill because they are too concerned it will have negative consequences for minorities. Wtf

Terminaters168
Terminaters168

By gun control do you mean taking away guns from criminals or from law-abiding citizens

End craziness
End craziness

Nobody has mentioned the speed limit in a school zone.

Ladysmith
Ladysmith

I think we should ban all cell phones in cars.

dcoskrey
dcoskrey

Smart phones have turned us into idiots. Even the ones who don't do it while they drive have to stare down at the screen the instant the car stops. Then they are slow to start when the light turns green … at every single light. People will walk down the street, and even cross the street, without ever looking up from the phone. I have seen people driving through a parking lot full of people, looking down at the phone. The other day I watched a lady turn left at a busy intersection, and never look up. Crazy.

LaneysSis
LaneysSis

No charges? Seriously??? I can think of several !

motorcop.55
motorcop.55

Why in the Hell wasn't this idiot arrested ??? Local big shot ??

Tdub1067
Tdub1067

I hope she recovers quickly but rule #1 when directing traffic is keep your head on a swivel. Rule #2, don't stand in traffic flow patterns.