“Death Investigation Turned Over To State Authorities”

PCSO envelope 2014 graphic


Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Turns Investigation of Death at local Youth Camp over to State Authorities 

The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has completed the initial inquiry and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the tragic accident which claimed the life of 16 year old Olivia Grimes on Monday, July 13, 2015.

As previously released following the incident, Miss Grimes, a resident from Florida, was a participant involved in an outdoor event called the “Freebird” while attending a weeklong excursion at Carolina Point – Young Life Camp located at 4000 Glady Fork Rd in Brevard, North Carolina.

The remote area located on Sassafras Mountain is divided by the North and South Carolina state line with portions of the approximate 350 acre facility falling on both sides of the state boundary.

The investigation by the Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that no signs of foul play or criminal intent played a role in the death of Miss Grimes.  Witness interviews and the examination of all evidence collected at the scene and the autopsy have confirmed the following facts:

  • No indications of a mechanical or structural failure of the swing, equipment or safety gear have been detected
  • The victim’s harness was not attached to the apparatus when the swing was retracted from the passenger loading platform upon deployment of the swing
  • No evidence or information has been discovered that would indicate that the victim contributed to her own death

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015, three representatives from the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation accompanied members from the Sheriff’s Office investigative team to the accident site for evaluation.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office was officially informed that the incident fell under South Carolina state jurisdiction after a review of state statutes and their application to the existing rides and courses to include the pendulum swing at the camp.

The Sheriff’s Office, having now completed the initial criminal inquiry into the victim’s death, has turned all information over to state authorities as the investigation will proceed under their jurisdiction.

Any evidence collected by the Sheriff’s Office will be retained and secured for the state pending the outcome of their investigation.

Further inquiries should be directed to the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in Columbia, SC.