Cause of death released for Simpsonville woman after golf cart crash with grandson

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Burnette King and Carter Bernhagen WEB_1555544615102.jpg.jpg

GREENVILLE Co., S.C. (WSPA) — A Simpsonville woman found dead near a crashed golf cart after she and her young grandson were reported missing, died from a heart attack.

According to the Greenville County coroner’s office, an autopsy revealed that King died from acute myocardial infarction due to physiologic stress during the golf cart accident.

Authorities said Bernette King and her 3-year-old grandson Carter Bernhagen rode a golf cart to a creek on Wednesday morning. King was driving the golf cart.

Both were reported missing later that day.

“I started going to places that we always go and couldn’t find her,”King’s husband, Charles King, said. “I got pretty upset and didn’t know what was going on.”

Greenville County deputies searching for the woman and child discovered the golf cart crashed off Sullivan Road, Lt. Ryan Flood confirmed. 

Charles said he spoke with their grandson Carter, who gave his account of what happened.

“He said she fell off the golf cart and she got him back away from the water, got him in a safe place and he said that she was just sleeping in the grass.”

Even if the last moments of her life, her husband said her main focus was saving Carter’s.

“She made sure to get him away from the water. He liked the water. If she had stayed close to the water he would have been in it, and there is no telling what would have happened then.”

Carter was found safe near his deceased grandmother, according to a coroner’s office report. 

According to family members, Bernette King loved helping others. She was a registered nurse and worked for Greenville County EMS for several years. 

Her daughter Aleatha Cone Moore told 7-News she was employed at NHC HealthCare in Mauldin before her death. 

Charles King added that he and his wife had custody of Carter.

“We were just trying to take care of him the best we could. Now without my wife here working and all that, I don’t know what we’re going to be able to do,” he said.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help family members continue to care for these children and cover the expenses of King’s funeral arrangements. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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