Lawsuit: Georgetown deputy at fault in car crash that injured man in Garden City

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A man involved in a car wreck with a Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputy is suing the agency, according to a lawsuit filed in Horry County court this month.

The lawsuit alleges a Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputy was at fault in a crash that took place Jan. 1, 2021 in Garden City Beach about 5:30 a.m.

David Ours said he was driving a moped and heading north on U.S. Highway 17 Business in Garden City Beach when Deputy Jonathan Mykal Wheeler was stopped at an intersection with Highway 17 and Secondary 154, according to the lawsuit.

Wheeler, who was driving a Georgetown County Sheriff’s deputy car, turned left at the intersection onto the divided highway and pulled out in front of Ours, causing him to crash into the driver’s side of the deputy’s vehicle, the lawsuit states. The wreck left Ours with an injury to his neck, his attorney said.

Wheeler is no longer employed with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, agency spokesperson Jason Lesley said. Lesley did not say whether Wheeler’s departure from the sheriff’s office was related to the wreck or lawsuit.

“As this is pending litigation, GCSO has nothing to add,” Lesley wrote in an email when reached for comment.

As a result of the crash, Ours suffered property damage, an inability to use his moped, pain, suffering, and incurred medical expenses. The lawsuit calls Ours’ injuries a “permanent impairment.”

Brett Mehalic, the attorney who represents Ours, said his client suffered an injury to his neck “that still bothers him” a year later and will require surgery. Mehalic said Ours also has lingering pain in his arm.

The lawsuit accuses Wheeler of “fail[ing] to use due care and recklessly” causing the crash by pulling out in front of Ours.

The lawsuit states Wheeler, the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office, and Georgetown County were negligent and reckless because Wheeler failed to pay proper attention to his surroundings and yield the right of way.

Georgetown County Spokesperson Jackie Broach said in an e-mail it is the agency’s policy not to comment on pending litigation. In addition to the sheriff’s office, Georgetown County is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit.

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