5 deaths in a year at Orangeburg County jail

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP/WCIV) - A fifth inmate has died at the Orangeburg County jail in about a year.

Authorities said 34-year-old Thurston Massey was found slumped over in a cell around 6:15 a.m. Monday after he was arrested on a driving under the influence charge.

Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young says Massey refused medical care when he came to the jail, but was checked by a nurse.

The coroner's office said Massey died from an internal abdominal laceration and bleeding, injuries he sustained in the car accident before he was taken to the jail.

South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones confirmed Massey lost control of his 2009 Toyota pickup the morning of October 20, ran off the left side of Highway 176 and hit a culvert.

Cpl. Jones said Massey was arrested for driving under the influence and taken to the detention center.

According to Dorchester County officials, Massey was a 7th grade science teacher at Oakbrook Middle School. The principal told district officials that Massey was an excellent teacher.

The school has extra counselors on hand to help upset students and faculty.

Since October 2012, two inmates have committed suicide, a third died from a heart condition and the cause of death hasn't been determined for a fourth death.

The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the latest death. Young says he does not think the jail has an ongoing problem.