Weekend Wrecks Kill 3 on I-77; Man Charged with Felony DUI

A Beaufort man was arrested Sunday and charged with felony D.U.I. after the 2000 Saturn he was driving southbound on I-77 in Fairfield County side-swiped a 2010 Dodge Durango carrying a family on vacation from Michigan. A teenager in the Durango was killed as a result of the accident, which occurred near the 41 mile marker.

Ricky Lance Deel, 34, of Beaufort, was arrested following the accident and booked at the Fairfield County Detention Center.

The family, from New Boston, Mich., was traveling southbound in the right-hand lane on I-77 in the Durango when their vehicle was side-swiped at 6:50 p.m. Sunday by Deel’s Saturn, which swerved out of the left-hand lane. The Durango overturned and a passenger, 16-year-old James Franklin Williams, was ejected from the vehicle and into the northbound lane. Barkley Ramsey, Fairfield County Coroner, said Williams was then struck and killed by several passing cars. Williams was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. Five other passengers and the driver in the Durango were transported to Palmetto Richland Hospital, one of whom was in critical condition as of Monday afternoon. Ramsey said the family traveling from Michigan to Florida to embark on a cruise to the Bahamas.

The accident was one of two deadly crashes in Fairfield County over the weekend, claiming three lives in total.

A one-car accident at 11:20 a.m. on Nov. 16 took the lives of Johnnie Mae Chisholm, 65, of Green Street in York, and Willie Albert Ashley II, 70, of Neelys Creek Road in Rock Hill. Ashley was driving a 1974 Chevrolet Suburban northbound on I-77 when, near the 32 mile marker, the left rear tire blew out causing him to lose control of the vehicle. The Suburban overturned in the median, ejecting both Ashley and the passenger, Chisholm, neither of whom was wearing a seat belt. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Ramsey said the tires on the Suburban were re-caps and at least 12 years old.

Both accidents remain under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Speak Your Mind