RCSD Mourns Deputy's, Wife's Death

Two children left behind

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By Monique Williams

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. (WOLO) -- Shock waves throughout the Richland County Sheriff's Department are still being felt, a day after learning a deputy and his wife were killed in a motorcycle crash.

A flag at half staff, a wreath full of white roses and a sheriff trying not to show emotion are all signs Thursday that one of the Department's own is gone. Authorities say Sgt. Derek ElDada and his wife, Leigh, took a night time ride on their Harley Davidson motorcycle Wednesday around 9:30. The bike traveled on Highway 391 in Saluda County near Hutto Island Rd,. when a 2008 Chevy Malibu came out of nowhere. Investigators say at some point the vehicle left the road, the driver over-corrected, crossed the center lane and hit the ElDadas head on. Leigh was wearing a helmet; Derek was not.

"Derek ElDada was pronounced dead at the scene. His wife was transported to Palmetto Health Richland and pronounced dead at that point," said Sheriff Leon Lott. "It's a very tragic accident; it happened quickly."

Healing from such a sudden loss, won't come as quickly. State Highway Patrol has identified the driver of the Malibu; however, no further details have been provided. The ElDadas leave behind two teenage daughters, 17 and 12.
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