Today in 1955, Charleston Police Sergeant Jessie Clyde Benton, 37, and Detective Sergeant James F. Tindal were killed in an automobile accident near Holly Hill, South Carolina, while returning to Charleston to assist at the Charleston Tidewater Terminal fire.
The two officers, along with their wives, had been in Charlotte, North Carolina, to represent the Charleston Police Department in a pistol competition. All members of the department were ordered to return to Charleston to assist at the scene of the fire. The wives of both officers were also killed in the accident.
Sergeant Benton, a US Army veteran of World War II, served with the Charleston Police Department for 10 years. Sergeant Benton and his wife are interred at Riverview Cemetary in Charleston. He was survived by his mother, two sisters and a young son.
Jessie C. Benton’s name has been engraved on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Memorial at the Statehouse in Columbia and at the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, located on panel 13, W -2. A plaque bearing Jessie C. Benton’s name is displayed at the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Columbia.