FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - A funeral is being held Thursday for the Florence deputy who died from injuries sustained from a crash while assisting another deputy near Johnsonville on November 22.
Deputy Joseph Antwine, 23, remained in intensive care for several days after the crash, and died on November 29, the day after Thanksgiving.
The crash happened while Deputy Antwine and Deputy Brandon Floyd were responding to a call for backup from another deputy who was encountering multiple disorderly suspects, said sheriff's office spokesman Capt. Mike Nunn. It was a single-vehicle accident on Half Moon Road, and both deputies were in the patrol vehicle. They were taken to McLeod Regional Medical Center for treatment of their injuries.
On November 27, Sheriff Kenney Boone announced that 26-year-old Brandon Floyd was released from the hospital and was recovering at home.
The Florence County Sheriff's Office announced that funeral services for Deputy Antwine will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, December 5, 2013 at the Lake City Pentecostal Holiness Conference Center located at 608 S. Ron McNair Boulevard in Lake City, SC. Visitations were held on Tuesday, December 3 and Wednesday, December 4 at the Conference Center.
"Anyone familiar with law enforcement knows how personally we are affected by something like this," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. "We are as close as any family, and Joseph was one of us. We continue to be touched by the outpouring of community support and ask for your continued prayers for Joesph's family and all our deputies."
"He's one of those guys who had law enforcement in his blood," Sheriff Boone said. Sheriff Boone described Antwine as the "perfect deputy."
"His career would've moved him right on up the chain of ranks. He graduated from the Citadel- great guy. Full of integrity. Full of spirit. Loved his job," Sheriff Boone said.
Deputy Antwine's Uncle Chris Antwine echoed the same sentiments as Sheriff Boone, saying Joseph loved his job.
"He fell in love with the Sheriff's Office, and ever since then that's all he talked about," Chris Antwine said, "he called me that Friday and told me he had got on the SWAT Team. And it was just like he had just graduated The Citadel and the Police Academy at the same time. I mean he was just so excited about the swat team."
The South Carolina Highway Patrol's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating this crash. Sgt. Bob Baras with the Highway Patrol says the driver of the 2009 Dodge Charger, Deputy Antwine, was wearing a seat belt.
On November 27, Sheriff Kenney Boone announced that 26-year-old Brandon Floyd has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home.
"Something like this effects our entire office," Sheriff Kenney Boone stated. "We are more like family than anything else. Our deputies never know whether the call they are on will change their lives forever. They choose to serve the public anyway. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joseph and Brandon at this time.
Sheriff Boone released a statement two days before Deputy Antwine's death, detailing how donations could be made. Below is the full text of that letter:
As many of you are aware, two of our deputies were seriously injured in a single vehicle motor vehicle accident on November 22, 2013 on Half Moon Road near Johnsonville, SC while responding to a call for immediate assistance by another deputy. At this time we are happy to report that Deputy Brandon Floyd has been released from the hospital and is recovering at home. Deputy Joseph Antwine remains in intensive care. We are grateful for the incredible outpouring of support from the community for these deputies and their families, and we have been asked where contributions can be made while they recover. Surely there are many worthy fundraising activities being planned by sincerely concerned individuals for our deputies. FCSO is not endorsing any particular fundraiser's, but recommends that donations be made to the deputies through the Law Enforcement Advocacy Foundation (LEAF) which is an independent registered charitable organization founded to support local law enforcement, and to which tax deductible donations can be made. LEAF is working directly with the deputies and their families to meet their specific financial needs during their recovery period. Anyone wishing to contribute can make checks payable to LEAF at 2700 Whirlaway Avenue, Florence, S.C. 29505. In addition, contributions can be made online at www.protectourofficers.com with a credit card. All contributions will go directly to the support of the deputies according to their specific needs with no deductions for administrative costs. For any questions regarding this process, contact Stacey Watts at LEAF at (843) 615-8017 or at Stacey_watts@att,net.
We appreciate the continued support and prayers for Brandon and Joseph as they recover from their injuries. It means so much to them and to us to know that the community supports us as we strive to protect and serve.