On Thursday February 15th, 2018, three officers from the North Charleston Police Department were involved in two separate alleged impaired driving crashes within hours of each other. Ryan McCluen was off duty the evening of
Thursday February 15th. He was riding his motorcycle on a busy road in Dorchester County when an alleged impaired driver pulled in front of him. Ryan was transported to an area hospital where he died. Ryan had been with the North Charleston Police Department for approximately a year and a half. He left Charleston 911 to join the department in 2016.
On the same evening, Brandan VanAusdal and his K-9 partner, Mojo, were responding to a call with blue lights flashing when they were hit by an alleged impaired driver. Brandon was seriously injured, but his partner MoJo was killed. Mojo lived with Brandon and his family. They had also grown to love Mojo.
MADD Advocates Kelly Stafford and Paula Schaefer attended bond hearings for both alleged offenders with
Crystal Salley from SC Highway Patrol. Multiple North Charleston officers attended both hearings to show solidarity and support. Both alleged offenders were granted bond.
On February 20th, 2018, Officer Ryan McCluen’s family and friends said good-bye to their loved one. Ryan’s funeral was attended by law enforcement from all over South Carolina. The procession from the church to the cemetery was long and it involved police, fire, and EMS vehicles. People lined up along the roadway to watch the motorcade which included law enforcement cars from all over SC. It was followed by a procession of motorcycles from various law enforcement and EMS agencies. MADD staff Steven Burritt and Kelly Stafford attended the services.
On February 23rd, 2018, The North Charleston Police Department along with handler Brandon VanAusdal said good-bye to K-9 officer Mojo. He was given full law enforcement honors. Again, law enforcement from throughout SC attended the funeral. MADD staff Kelly Stafford and SC Highway Patrol Victim Advocate, Crystal Salley, attended the funeral for K-9 Officer Mojo.
Unfortunately, within the time frame of two hours, the North Charleston Police Department was affected by the implications of impaired driving. First responders are not immune from this epidemic. It would seem they would be, since they are the ones who respond to DUI crashes and arrest the perpetrators who violate the law. So, next time you see a police officer, fireman, or paramedic, make sure to thank them. Please send well wishes, positive thoughts, and/or prayers to the North Charleston Police Department.