North Charleston Police officer dies in wreck, Charleston teacher charged with felony DUI

Whitney Brooks (Dorchester County Detention Center)

A Charleston woman has been arrested and charged with felony DUI resulting in death after an off-duty North Charleston Police officer was killed in a two vehicle wreck on Ladson road Thursday night.

Ryan MacCluen, 31, of Summerville, died at Summerville Medical Center shortly before 10:30 p.m., according to Dorchester County Coroner Paul Brothers.

MacCluen, who was riding a motorcycle, died after a woman in a car turned in front of him on Ladson Road near Henrietta Drive in Summerville around 9:45 p.m., according to S.C. Highway Patrol.

MacCluen was wearing a helmet when the wreck happened, according to Brouthers.

MacCluen had been with NCPD since August 2016 after serving previously as a Charleston County 911 dispatcher, according to the department. He was a member of the uniform patrol division, a SWAT team member, and a volunteer with NCPD's Cops Athletic Program’s Powder Puff Football League.

"(MacCluen's) co-workers describe him as someone who loved being a police officer and a friendly person that always had a smile on his face," NCPD Chief Reggie Burgess said in a prepared statement. "He loved the opportunity to give back to the community he served."

Whitney Danielle Brooks, 29, of Charleston, was driving the car involved in the wreck with MacCluen. She was arrested and charged with felony DUI after the wreck, Highway Patrol says.

Neither Brooks nor a passenger in the vehicle with her at the time were injured, Highway Patrol says.

Highway Patrol confirms Brooks blew a .00 when given a breath analysis test for alcohol following the wreck. Results of blood and urine tests for intoxicants are pending, according to Sgt. Bob Beres with SCHP.

The Charleston County School District has confirmed Brooks is a teacher at Burke High School. The district says she has been placed on leave while authorities investigate the incident.

A North Charleston PD K9 officer also was killed Thursday night in a wreck on Rivers Avenue, and the dog's handler, Officer Brandon VanAusdal, also was seriously injured. A man has been charged with felony DUI in connection to that wreck, as well.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey released the following statement Friday morning regarding the wrecks.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of Officer Ryan MacCluen. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. The City of North Charleston is deeply saddened by this loss, as Ryan was a respected member of the North Charleston Police Department and a friend to many. He will be sincerely missed.
We too grieve for the loss of Mojo, a K9 of the department. Two-legged or four, all working in police service are considered officers. We wish Mojo's handler, Officer VanAusdal, a speedy recovery.
Any city support needed will be provided to our officers during this time of bereavement.
- North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey

"I ask that each of you keep the families of our beloved Brothers MacCluen and K9 MOJO in your thoughts and prayers," North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess said in a news release. "And we pray for a full and speedy recovery for PFC VanAusdal. You can rest assured that the department, as well as the city, will be there for them during this difficult time."

Brooks had a bond hearing at on Friday, February 16. Her bail was set at $125,000.

MacCluen's body has been taken to MUSC for an autopsy, per Brouthers.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol and Dorchester County Coroner’s Office is investigating.

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