Ridgeway Pedestrian Killed in Double Hit-and-Run

RIDGEWAY – A Ridgeway man was killed Saturday in a double hit-and-run, the second such incident in Ridgeway in just over two weeks.

Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey said Jamel Thomas, 35, was standing on the side of the road outside a home in the 9100 block of Highway 34, near the Long Road intersection, at approximately 8:45 p.m. Thomas, of 437 Carolina Drive, was talking with friends outside the home, Ramsey said, when a car traveling east on Highway 34 struck him and then sped away. Witnesses were only able to describe the car as a dark colored compact car.

Witnesses at the home went down to the road to check on Thomas, who was lying in the roadway. A second east-bound vehicle, described only as a tan in color pickup truck, also struck Thomas and sped away. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene, Ramsey said.

On Sept. 24, Devante Christopher Middleton, 22, of 2796 Mood Harrison Road, was struck by an east-bound 2002 Honda Accord while walking east down Longtown Road at approximately 6:45 a.m. The S.C. Highway Patrol said Middleton was walking illegally in the middle of the road when he was struck and Ramsey said Middleton was wearing dark-colored clothing, making him difficult if not impossible to see in the rain and the darkness.

The driver of the Honda only saw Middleton at the last second, Ramsey said, and swerved to avoid him, but it was too late. Middleton was only injured, however, and lying in the west-bound lane of Longtown Road. The driver of the Honda pulled over, got out of the car and spoke with Middleton, Ramsey said, and called 9-1-1 for help.

While the driver was on the phone with 9-1-1, Ramsey said, a second car traveling in the west-bound lane struck Middleton a second time, this time fatally. The second car, described only as a dark-colored vehicle with tinted windows, did not stop, the Highway Patrol said.

Both incidents remain under investigation by the Highway Patrol. The vehicles involved in the Thomas hit-and-run should both have sustained significant front-end damage, Ramsey said.