MULLINS, South Carolina -- A Marion County Sheriff's deputy died in a single-vehicle crash while responding to a call early Tuesday morning.
Deputy Michael Shawn Latu's vehicle left the raod on U.S. 76 and struck a bridge pillar underneath U.S. 501 bypass around 1 a.m., according to a news release.
Efforts to save the deputy were unsuccessful.
Latu was the Marion County Sheriff's Office 2018 Deputy of the Year as well as the 2018 Patrolman of the Year. His career began as a 911 Dispatch Operator for Marion County in November 2012 and joined the Sheriff's Office in January 2015.
"Mike was quiet with a genius level IQ. He was the workhorse of the department and was always eager to help," officials wrote in a statement. "The void left by our brother will never be filled. We ask for your prayers of comfort during this time, not only for his family but for his 'blue' family as well."
The crash is currently under investigation.
Funeral arrangements are pending.