Wreck with SLED agent kills man

EASLEY — An Easter Sunday wreck on U.S. 183 has left a 61-year-old Greenville man dead and a veteran SLED officer injured.
According to Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley, James Rhodes, of 2747 Anderson Road in Greenville, was killed in the accident, which occurred at 12:39 p.m.
The driver of the other vehicle involved was Special Agent Justin C. Cheeks, 47, of the State Law Enforcement Division. According to the official investigation, it is not certain whether Cheeks was on duty at the time of the collision.
SLED normally leads investigations statewide when an officer at any level is involved in a fatality.
According to Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, the accident occurred in U.S. 183 at Saluda View Drive.
Officers say it appeared that Rhodes’ 1998 Ford was traveling north while Cheeks was heading south in a state-owned 2006 Crown Victoria and the cars hit head-on. Rhodes was not restrained.
Kelley said that Rhodes was taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead from blunt force trauma.
Cheeks, who has been employed with SLED since 1998, was also taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.
The accident is under investigation by SCHP. The cause of the accident will be determined following a reconstruction by the Highway Patrol’s MAIT Team.