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Myrtle Beach police officer charged with DUI, suspended following vehicle crash into church

A Myrtle Beach police officer was charged with driving under the influence after authorities said he crashed into a Conway church early Tuesday, according to authorities.

Travis Preston, 40, of Conway was charged with DUI in connection with the crash that happened just before 4 a.m. Tuesday, according to Catina Hipp, public information officer for Conway Police Department.

He was released on a $997 personal recognizance bond today after he appeared before Municipal Judge Jane Mackey.

Preston has been suspended without pay by the Myrle Beach Police Department pending completion of the internal investigation, said Capt. David Knipes, police spokesman.

Conway police were called to Trinity United Methodist Church at 198 Long Ave., for a vehicle fire, Hipp said. Officers found a vehicle had struck the church building, but Preston was not at the scene.

Conway firefighters put out the vehicle fire and police found Preston a short distance away, Hipp said. Preston, who identified himself as a Myrtle Beach police officer, was taken to Conway Medical Center for minor injuries and released.