Coroner rules manner of death in fatal Berkeley County motorcycle crash

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) — The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office has released the manner of death of Robert Lee Clark, Jr., 30, of Goose Creek.

The manner of death was ruled a homicide.

We’re told the facts for determining homicide, in this case, stems from a police pursuit initiated by the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office on April 19, 2017, which ended on Main Street in Summerville. In that pursuit, the pursuing officer engaged the fleeing motorcyclist by applying deadly force with his patrol vehicle, causing the motorcyclist to lose control and crash.

The standard for determining Homicide as the manner of death includes “the action of one person directly causing the death of another. A death that occurs as a result of a felony is also considered Homicide. A violent death may stem from some kind of deliberate or purposeful action, but intent to cause death need not be present or proven for the classification of Homicide,” Coroner Paul J. Brouthers said in a statement.

Members of the South Carolina Highway Patrol set with Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis to review the Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team’s Investigative Report.

At this time, the deputy involved in the incident, Deputy VanSant, remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

“I am very appreciative of the South Carolina Highway Patrol’s thorough and detailed investigation into this incident. At the conclusion of the ongoing internal review, we will make a determination as to compliance with any relevant policies or procedures,” Sheriff Duane Lewis stated.

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