HomeTop StoriesTruck driver sued in 'absolutely tragic' crash that killed 23-year-old Richland deputy

Truck driver sued in ‘absolutely tragic’ crash that killed 23-year-old Richland deputy

A beloved Richland County sheriff’s deputy was killed in a collision with a tractor trailer last September, and now his estate is suing the truck driver.

Jacob Salrin, who was 23-years-old at the time of his death, was driving on Bluff Road in his patrol car when he was hit nearly head-on by a tractor trailer making a left turn. The truck was operated by Everett Knapper, owner of Knapper’s Transport LLC, according to the wrongful death lawsuit filed April 12 against Knapper and his company.

The lawsuit was filed by Allie Salrin–Zammuto, Deputy Salrin’s sister, who is acting as the personal representative for Salrin’s estate. Salrin-Zammuto lived with Salrin before his death.

Robert Goings, an attorney for Salrin’s estate, said Salrin-Zammuto is still trying to recover from her brother’s death.

“She has difficulty talking about it,” Goings said.

Salrin sustained “catastrophic bodily injuries” as a result of the crash, the lawsuit says. He also experienced conscious pain, suffering and mental distress upon impact, according to the lawsuit.

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The South Carolina Highway Patrol recently charged Knapper with failure to yield the right of way. Now, Salrin’s estate is suing the truck driver for recklessness and negligence while operating a motor vehicle.

The lawsuit claims say Knapper had a duty to keep a clean lookout, observe all vehicles on the road and yield to the right of way of oncoming traffic. Failing these duties and disobeying South Carolina’s laws led to Salrin’s injuries and death, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit also claims that Knapper made no evasive efforts to avoid the crash.

The State attempted to reach Knapper for comment Monday but was unsuccessful.

Salrin was deeply loved and proudly served his community, according to the lawsuit. Goings said Salrin was a happy and positive person who was a rising star at the Richland County Sheriff’s Department. Goings recalls Salrin–Zammuto saying that being a law enforcement officer and serving the community was a calling for her brother.

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Law enforcement, first responders and family attend a funeral for Richland County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jacob Salrin on Thursday, October 5, 2023

Law enforcement, first responders and family attend a funeral for Richland County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Jacob Salrin on Thursday, October 5, 2023

“He was very, very well-liked at the sheriff’s department,” Goings said. “And the fact that he died in the line of service is absolutely tragic.”

Salrin is also remembered for his kindness and dedication to excellence. He received the Clifford A. Moyer marksmanship award during his time at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy and was selected to be the Deputy of the Quarter for his region just before his death, The State previously reported.

Goings said Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott once told him that Salrin was “the kind of deputy every sheriff would want to have.”

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