LEXINGTON COUNTY, S.C. — A South Carolina man who seriously injured a Lexington County deputy in 2019 will now face several years in prison following his sentencing earlier in the week.
According to the office of Eleventh Circuit Solicitor Rick Hubbard, 38-year-old Michael Jordan Nichols, formerly of Irmo, pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury. As a result, he was sentenced to 15 years in the South Carolina Department of Corrections, which was suspended to an active sentence of eight years plus five years of probation.
The solicitor's office said there were no plea negotiations and Nichols was facing a maximum of 15 years.
The charge and sentence stem from a crash on the morning of June 8, 2019. Nichols was accused of speeding and traveling the wrong way down South Lake Drive in the Red Bank area of Lexington County.
Driving a Chevrolet Silverado, Nichols slammed head-on into what the solicitor's office described as a "fully marked" Lexington County Sheriff's Department Chevrolet Tahoe. The driver, Deputy Roy Hall, was on his way to work that morning before being struck by Nichols.
The solicitor's office said it took up to 30 minutes to free Deputy Hall from his vehicle after which he had to be treated at a local hospital for several injuries including pelvic fractures and dislocation in his femur. He also faced numerous surgeries. He was unable to continue his law enforcement career, the solicitor's office said.
Further investigation and toxicology testing found that Nichols had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .19 - well over the limit. Nichols also had numerous previous convictions including an assault charge in 2005 and an assault and battery charge in 2017.
Assistant Solicitor Todd Wagoner said that, while his office appreciated that Nichols accepted responsibility for his actions, he hopes this will convince others not to drive while impaired.
"There are many options available, especially during the holiday season, such as Uber, Lyft, taxi services, and designated drivers,” he said in a statement provided on Friday.