Man From Lugoff, SC Arrested on Felony DUI Charges After Accident that Killed Local Firefighter
On Friday morning, January 11th, a man from Lugoff, SC hit and killed a Kershaw County first responder. He has been arrested on felony DUI charges.
The incident occurred on Pine Grove Rd. around 4:30 AM.
The victim, DeWitt Peake, was a 56-year-old firefighter who was riding his motorcycle. According to reports, he was wearing a helmet and taking reasonable safety precautions.
However, the other driver in the accident – 27-year-old Lowell Stewart – was intoxicated while driving his Toyota truck.
Peake was a volunteer firefighter for the Pine Grove Fire Department for 34 years. He had just been promoted to lieutenant on the previous Tuesday.
Kershaw County Coroner Johnny Fellers said he and Peake had responded to many accidents together. Fellers said Peake was a “heck of a nice guy.”
Stewart was transported to the Kershaw County Detention Center and awaits a bond hearing.
Felony DUI Victim Honored for Service
The tragedy of felony DUI’s was strongly felt after Peake’s death was announced to his colleagues.
As firefighters rushed to the scene of the accident, they heard only that the victim was riding a motorcycle and the other driver had been booked on a felony DUI. When they arrived, they realized that the victim was their friend and colleague, DeWitt Peake.
“I didn’t know who it was till I got there,” said Fellers. “They told me who it was. Devastated, just devastated … If he was available, he would’ve answered that call if it would’ve been someone else,” said Fellers. “It was within minutes of his house. Probably would have been one of the first ones on the scene.”
Pine Grove Rescue and Fire had just promoted Peake, by vote, to lieutenant of their department.
He is survived by a wife and four children.
Felony DUI Charges in South Carolina
In 2009, South Carolina DUI penalties became more intense with stiffer fines and more jail time making it even more critical that you are represented by a criminal defense lawyer. Your punishment for drunk driving is based upon whether:
- the charge is a ;
- your blood alcohol level;
- whether you refused to take a chemical test, such as a breathalyzer;
- you had minors in your vehicle; and
- whether you were involved in an accident.
The Strom Law Firm, LLC handles the following types of DUI charges:
- Reducing DUI charges to reckless driving
- Felony DUI
- Boating under the influence
- Underage drinking
- Military base DUI
- DUI drugs
- Traffic Offenses
- Flying under the influence
Whether it is your first offense or you have a prior record of DUI charges, our extensive knowledge of the law and access to resources can help you avoid fines, the loss of your license, jail time and other potential DUI punishments, including a suspended license.
If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you need a criminal defense attorney to ensure that you do not unknowingly waive any important rights. It is a complex law, with a surprisingly large gray area of actual DUI culpability.
If you face felony DUI charges in South Carolina, do not hesitate to contact the Strom Law Firm for help. We offer free, confidential consultations. 803.252.4800