North Myrtle Beach, SC – North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety (NMBDPS) Sergeant Gordon Best died in the line of duty while responding to a report of shots fired on New Year’s Day.
The 30-year-old sergeant was driving along Highway 17 on his way to a shots fired call near Barefoot Resort when he lost control of his patrol vehicle at approximately 4 a.m., Myrtle Beach Online reported.
Sgt. Best’s SUV traveled into the northbound lanes of the highway and slammed into a utility pole near 37th Avenue South and Windy Hill Road, according into investigators.
He succumbed to his injuries at the scene, South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) Corporal Sonny Collins told Myrtle Beach Online.
Investigators said the roadways were wet at the time of the fatal collision due to overnight storms in the area.
The SCHP is handling the ongoing investigation into the crash, the NMBPD said in a Facebook post.
Both of Sgt. Best’s parents are retired NMBPD officers, according to Myrtle Beach Online.
He joined the department seven years ago, and was poised to go far within the department.
“I told him he was a rising star,” North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Tommy Dennis said during a press conference on Friday.
He said the death of the young sergeant is a “great loss” for the department, Myrtle Beach Online reported.
“Just an all-around good guy, just well-liked by everyone,” Chief Dennis said. “There is so much I got that I can’t even begin to start.”
“We ask all to pray for Sergeant Gordon Best and his family,” the NMBPD’s Facebook post read.
Sgt. Best leaves behind his wife of five years, Taylor, as well as his children, two-year-old Blakely and four-year-old Braxton, according to a fundraising page established to help his family in the wake of their loss.
Donors have contributed over $41,300 to the family so far.
North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley said the community is devastated over the loss of Sgt. Best.
“This is the first police officer that we have ever lost in the history of our city,” Hatley told Myrtle Beach Online. “My first reaction was shock. It was just very sad.”
REST IN PEACE: The Myrtle Beach Skywheel is lit up blue in honor of Sgt. Gordon William Best, a North Myrtle Beach officer who died in a crash while responding to a call. pic.twitter.com/BZO3ByNrc1
— WBTW News 13 (@WBTWNews13) January 2, 2021
The Ocean Lakes family is deeply saddened by the loss of a North Myrtle Beach Police Officer, Sgt. Gordon Best. This tragedy hits close to home as Sgt. Best was the husband of a Teammate. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/7Pd7GYlzIK
— Ocean Lakes Family Campground (@OceanLakes) January 2, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sgt. Gordon Best, the North Myrtle Beach Dept of Public Safety and the North Myrtle Beach community. Sgt. Best died in a vehicle collision on New Year’s Day while responding to a 911 call. #chsnews pic.twitter.com/VuiyqyVCAe
— Charleston P.D. (@CharlestonPD) January 4, 2021
— Anjali Patel (@AnjaliPatelTV) January 1, 2021
Memorials for NMB Police Sgt. Gordon Best are growing at the department’s headquarters and the site of this morning’s deadly wreck. (📸: @tayhernandeztv & @3lisia) #LODD #NMB pic.twitter.com/uodSC51mLn
— Meghan Miller (@Meghan_WBTW) January 1, 2021
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety Sergeant Gordon Best, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.