Teacher dies in Holly Hill jail

  • Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Dorchester County middle-school teacher bled to death from internal injuries in the Orangeburg County jail Oct. 21 after being arrested on a DUI charge, according to the Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office.

Thurston Massey, 34, of Holly Hill, was the fifth inmate to die in the jail in the last year. He taught seventh-grade science at Oakbrook Middle School, district spokeswoman Pat Raynor said.

This was Massey’s second year teaching at Oakbrook, Raynor said.

“He absolutely had no discipline issues at the school,” she said. “He had a stellar reputation there.”

Students were told about his death and counselors were made available for support, she said.

Massey wrecked his 2009 Toyota pickup about 6:30 a.m. Oct. 20 on U.S. Highway 176 near Holly Hill, Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said. Massey was traveling west and ran off the road and hit a culvert. He refused a breath test and was charged with DUI and taken to the Orangeburg County jail, Jones said.

Massey was found slumped over dead in his cell early Monday, according to an incident report from the sheriff’s office. He was being held in a single-occupancy cell in the medical evaluation section of the jail. He had visible injuries, according to the report, but had refused medical help.

The State Law Enforcement Division was called in to process the scene.

Massey died of hypovolemic shock due to a lacerated mesentery, Deputy Chief Coroner Sean Fogle said. The mesentery is tissue surrounding the intestines.

Hypovolemic shock occurs when the heart stops due to blood loss.

In laymen’s terms, Massey bled to death from internal injuries from the wreck, Fogle said.

Massey was being watched every 30 minutes and had shown no signs of distress when a detention officer found him unresponsive around 3 a.m. Monday, Orangeburg County Administrator Harold Young said.

Massey refused an ambulance after the wreck and again when he was brought into the jail, Young said. A nurse evaluated him when he was brought to the jail, and his blood pressure and other vital signs were fine, he said.

He never complained of his injuries, Young said.

“We have video to document that,” he said.

“I’m 100 percent certain we followed protocol.”

Of the other inmates who died in the jail in the last year, two inmates killed themselves by asphyxiation, one died of a heart attack, and the other was not taking his medications, Young said. The jail was not at fault in any of them, Young said.


Notice about comments:

Berkeley Independent is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. We do not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Berkeley Independent.

If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full terms and conditions.

Upcoming Events
 Latest News
Print Ads
Latest Videos

Berkeley Independent

© 2014 Berkeley Independent an Evening Post Industries company. All Rights Reserved.

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Terms of Service, Privacy Policy and Parental Consent Form.