Joint Base Charleston firefighter charged with felony DUI after 14-year-old girl struck
Goose Creek police have arrested a Joint Base Charleston firefighter accused of driving drunk and striking a 14-year-old girl with his vehicle.
Robert Semashko, 50, of Ricky Court, is charged with felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury, and hit-and-run, officials with the Berkeley County jail reported. His wife, Donna Semashko, 53, received an obstructing justice charge in connection with the incident, jail records show.
According to an incident report, police officers were called to Camelot Drive around 6 p.m. Sunday. A 14-year-old girl was lying in a ditch, and she was crying and appeared to be in extreme pain, police said. Witnesses placed several pieces of clothing on the girl to keep her warm.
One of the witnesses told police that she was walking along the road with the girl when a Dodge vehicle suddenly approached. The witness attempted to pull the girl out of the Dodge's path, but she was unable to, the report states.
The vehicle slowed down after striking the girl, then sped up again, police said. Witnesses chased after the vehicle and watched as it turned onto Ricky Court, according to the report.
Investigators found the vehicle parked nearby in a driveway. The home's front door was open. Officers approached the home and found Semashko and his wife. Both appeared disoriented and smelled of alcohol, police said.
Officers asked the couple who was driving the vehicle that struck the girl. The couple paused for a moment, then Donna Semashko said that she was the driver, the report said.
According to the report, Donna Semashko's demeanor made officers suspicious of her confession.
Upon further questioning away from her husband, Donna Semashko told police that she was going to "take the charge" because her husband is a firefighter and she did not want him to lose his job.
When questioned by police, Robert Semashko continued to say that his wife was behind the wheel when the incident occurred, police said.
Robert Semashko told investigators that he and his wife had a few drinks at Sapphire's Bar before heading home. He reported that his wife often drives him home after he's been drinking.
In the report, police said Robert Semashko appeared overly cautious and was uncooperative. Officers determined that he was the vehicle's driver.
Robert and Donna Semashko were held at the Berkeley County jail pending a bail hearing.
The 14-year-old girl was treated for her injuries at Medical University Hospital. She has since been released, police Capt. John Grainger said.
First Lt. Christopher Love with Joint Base Charleston said Robert Semashko is a civilian firefighter affiliated with the base since its inception in 2010. Prior to that, he worked for the Navy, he said.
"Since the base member involved is a civilian and not subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, we do not have jurisdiction in this matter," Love said in an emailed statement. "After receiving all the facts from the police, base leadership will consider whether action against the employee is appropriate."