An Upstate man was ticketed in connection with a collision that killed an SC Highway Patrol trooper in October after investigators say he fell asleep just prior to the accident.
Sergeant Jimmy Bolt said the crash happened near Bridges Road just before 12:30 a.m. on October 24. Officials said a trooper was stationary in his patrol vehicle in the emergency lane of I-385 when his patrol vehicle was struck from behind by a pickup truck.
The southbound side of the interstate was closed and traffic was being diverted onto Bridges Road for several hours early Tuesday morning. The roadway was cleared and reopened shortly before 6 a.m.
The trooper was identified as Trooper Daniel Keith Rebman.
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office sent out a release Monday night saying the pickup driver involved in the incident received a ticket in connection with the accident. They say 33-year-old Tuan Quoc Trinh of Simpsonville was ticketed with failure to maintain lane.
The release said Trinh's pickup truck drifted out of the lane of traffic and struck the rear of Rebman's vehicle.
Deputies did not find any evidence of impairment concerning Trinh. They say the investigation revealed, Trinh fell asleep just prior to striking Trooper Rebman's patrol vehicle. He was traveling 66 mph in a 65 mph zone at the time of the collision, per the sheriff's office.
Witness Dez Enesa said he was the first person to drive up to the accident. He was coming home from work when he and another driver pulled over to help.
Enesa said he went up to the trooper's car and cut the air bag and checked the trooper's vitals. He said Trooper Rebman was breathing but not really awake as he tried talking to him. He said the driver of the pickup truck was still on the scene and in complete shock.
The coroner said Rebman suffered blunt force trauma. His death was ruled accidental.
"It is impossible to put into words how deeply saddened we are by the loss of one of our own in the line of duty today," Smith said. "This is a devastating loss for Trooper Rebman's family, our agency, the law enforcement community and the State of South Carolina. This young trooper died a hero working to protect and serve his community and state."
Rebman is survived by a wife and three young daughters. A GoFundMe has been set up by Heroes in Blue to raise money for his family. Click here to contribute.
Heroes in Blue is a nonprofit created by Kassy Alia, the wife of Forest Acres policeman Greg Alia, who was killed in the line of duty in 2015.
“My heart deeply aches for Trooper Rebman's family, especially his wife and three young daughters, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement," Kassy Alia said. "I picture his wife today and the story is all too familiar. That is why we are coordinating this campaign - to give back to a hero who gave his life in service to others and to provide his wife and three daughters with financial support to carry them forward during this immensely tragic time."
Rebman's wife posted on Facebook Wednesday and said she was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from the community.
Below is her full statement:I am thankful and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for my family and honor for my husband, Daniel Keith.Keith was kind and gentle, and he took such good care of his family and friends. He was a perpetual servant in both his public and private life, and he was a man who loved God and had a relationship with Jesus Christ. I cannot respond to all, but your kindness is seen, and your prayers are felt. I cannot thank our law enforcement family enough, especially our fellow troopers, who have tirelessly loved, upheld, and mourned with us from the first moment. Thank you for your love. He is our hero, and yours.
Psalm 34:18-The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
John 15:13-Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.MORE NEWS: Troopers responding to more than 50 incidents on Spartanburg Co. roadways
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