horry county
A Horry County police truck parked on a beach. Credit: Horry County Police Department/Facebook

Family of Beachgoer Run Over by South Carolina Cop Sues Department

The family of the 66-year-old woman run over by a South Carolina beach safety director filed a wrongful death suit against the agency.

The family of the 66-year-old woman run over by the beach safety director in Horry County, South Carolina, filed a $100,000 wrongful death suit against the agency. In the civil complaint obtained by the local NBC affiliate, Sandra Schultz's family argues that the director, Julian "Duke" Brown, negligently drove a full-size pick-up truck through the beach on June 13, 2024.

"As Beach Safety Director, Officer Brown should have been the most knowledgeable person within the Horry County Police Department as to best practices for safety on Horry County beaches," the complaint says. And adds that the department "should not create a risk greater than 0.00% that its officers will run over a beachgoer with a full-sized motor vehicle."

What The Lawsuit Alleges

Although the South Carolina Highway Patrol has not yet released details of its investigation of the incident, the lawsuit argues that a "distracted" Brown "chose to drive his full-sized motor vehicle on a public beach without first ensuring that the path of travel he chose to drive ... was clear of objects and beachgoers."

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The civil complaint includes this image showing the conditions of the South Carolina beach where the incident occurred. Credit: The Derrick Law Firm

The basis for the argument is that nothing outside of the vehicle could have been a distraction. The lawsuit describes weather conditions as "clear." It also argues that at the time, Brown neither responded to an emergency nor had his vision obstructed. Additionally, Schultz was seated in an area frequented by beachgoers.

The complaint includes an image to demonstrate the conditions of the day of the incident. It shows a person sitting in a beach chair in the middle of the beach and a truck parked several feet away from the chair. There are no visible obstructions between them.

"Having chosen to consciously and deliberately operate a motor vehicle on a beach without a full view of his surroundings, Officer Brown drove his full-sized vehicle over the beachgoer ... while she was sitting upright in her beach chair," the complaint says.

The lawsuit adds that multiple witnesses say they heard "the most powerful scream." And then, Schultz remained trapped under the wheel of the vehicle for several minutes and died about two hours later.