City officer dies after wreck


A 10-year veteran of the Sumter Police Department died Friday afternoon about an hour after he and another officer on duty were involved in a motor vehicle wreck on U.S. 521 North near the county line.

Cpl. Charles Richard Nesbitt Jr., 39, died about 4 p.m. at KershawHealth, the hospital in Camden, according to a police department press release issued Friday night.

Nesbitt and Master Patrolman James Vernon Cox were driving in a patrol car southbound on U.S. 521 north of Rembert when the wreck occurred near Mt. Bethel Baptist Church at Boykin Mill Road.

According to the SC Highway Patrol, two vehicles were involved in the accident.

The 2008 Ford Crown Victoria driven by Nesbitt and a 2007 Kia Sorento headed north struck head on.

The driver of the Kia, Michael Grunder of Camden, was taken to Tuomey Regional Medical Center. His condition was not available.

Both Nesbitt and Cox were transported to KershawHealth.

After the wreck, which occurred about 3 p.m., law enforcement closed down U.S. 521 North.

Nesbitt was a uniformed officer who worked in the warrants division of the Sumter Police Department.

Cox was treated for injuries suffered in the wreck -- reports over the radio indicated he suffered an injury to his wrist.

The S.C. Highway Patrol's MAIT, or Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team, is investigating the wreck.

"The family requests their privacy during this time of bereavement," the release states. "On behalf of the Sumter City Police Department, we ask for your prayers during this somber time."

Reach Joe Perry at (803) 774-1272.