Tragedy Strikes University of South Carolina and Hit and Run Suspect in Police Custody in Lexington County
Your Charleston attorneys at Howell and Christmas, LLC were particularly upset to see a fairly large article in today's Post and Courier outlining a major auto accident in which four young people were killed near the University of South Carolina's famed Williams-Brice Stadium. According to the Richland County Coroner's Office, two of the victims were male (both 22 years of age) and two were female (ages 23 and 24). Also, three of the four victims were currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina; one male was a student last semester.
The fatal car crash occurred just before dawn last Wednesday morning when the car missed a sharp curve near the football stadium. The car proceeded to slam into the Farm Bureau Building on George Rodgers Blvd. Minutes later, the vehicle burst into flames. Returning to the scene Friday, investigators were combing through the wreckage to try and find answers as to the cause of this unfortunate car accident, more specifically, why the driver lost control of the vehicle and the speed at which the vehicle was travelling. Police do suspect that the male driver and front passenger were not wearing their seat belts when the crash occurred.
The Richland County Coroner also said that it was one of the young female's 23rd birthday and that the group had been seen together at several Columbia nightspots prior to the fatal car accident on George Rogers Blvd. From the autopsies it appeared that all four young people would have been killed by multiple trauma, not serious burn injuries, prior to the vehicle burst into flames, but it will take a couple of weeks to complete toxicology reports and determine if those results played a role in causing the accident.
As investigators from the Columbia Police Department, University of South Carolina Police, Richland County Coroner's Office, Columbia-Richland Fire Department, and the South Carolina Highway Patrol try to uncover unanswered questions surrounding the crash, University of South Carolina officials have offered their condolences to the victims' friends and family and have extended a helping hand in the form of counselors made available to grieving students and staff.