Driver in fatal wreck was retired Summerville police officer

The driver of a pickup truck in a wreck Monday in which his wife was killed is a retired Summerville police officer, a town official said.

John Rodriguez, 55, of Summerville, joined the town's police force in 2000, according to an official with Summerville's Human Resources Department.

Rodriguez served with the department until Jan. 14, 2013, when he left under the Family and Medical Leave Act, state Criminal Justice Academy records show.

After 12 weeks of unpaid leave under the FMLA, he reported in November that he was unable to return to work, according to separation papers obtained from the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy under a Freedom of Information Act request.

Before his time with Summerville, Rodriquez had worked at Charleston County's jail since Aug. 26, 1989, the documents showed.

Rodriquez's wife Roberta, 56, was flown to Medical University Hospital after Monday's wreck and was pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m,, Coroner Chris Nisbet said.

John Rodriguez has not been charged in connection with the crash.

The wreck happed near the Old Fort Fire Department, Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres said. The station is at 10410 Dorchester Road.

According to the Highway Patrol, a Buick SUV and a Toyota pickup were traveling west on Dorchester Road. The Buick was stopped, and the pickup tried to go around. The pickup scraped the side of the Buick, accelerated down a construction zone, went up on a sidewalk, went down an embankment, hit a utility pole and overturned, officials said.

Rodriquez, the driver of the pickup, was wearing a seat belt. He was taken to Medical University Hospital. His wife also was wearing a seat belt.

The driver of the Buick was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

The investigation is ongoing.

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