Today in 1988, Dorchester County Deputy Gary Blackwood, 39, was electrocuted about 2 am when he attempted to move a downed power line from the roadway, at the scene of an accident caused by a drunk driver.
The 7,200-volt power line was crossing US Highway 78, five miles west of Summerville. Deputy Blackwood had been called to the scene by a South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper who had sought help directing traffic due to the accident. Deputy Blackwood believed the down wire to be a ground wire and safe to be moved.
Deputy Blackwood had served with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office for three years. He was survived by his mother. Deputy Blackwood is interred at Summerville Cemetery.
Gary Douglas Blackwood’s name has been engraved on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Memorial on the Statehouse Grounds in Columbia and the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, located on panel 16, W -16. A plaque bearing Gary Douglas Blackwood’s name is displayed at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia.