Last week your Charleston accident lawyer posted an article concerning the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s efforts to make a portion of Interstate-95 in Colleton County safer by trimming the trees in the interstate’s median. Unfortunately, as your Charleston negligence attorney found out this morning while reading today’s Post and Courier, these safety measures couldn’t prevent a fatal tractor trailer accident from occurring along I-95. According to reports, an 18-wheeler traveling south on the interstate went off the road into the median strip around 9:00 a.m. yesterday morning. After running into the median the truck overturned, pinning the 51-year-old driver underneath the massive vehicle. According to the Colleton Country Coroner’s office, the truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and the Coroner’s Office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are continuing their investigations into the single-vehicle accident.
Also according to today’s Post and Courier, several agencies in the Charleston area have received moneys from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety by way of a Highway Safety Grant. In turn, agencies like the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up traffic enforcement to keep car accidents and traffic fatalities low. It comes as no surprise to the lawyers at Howell and Christmas that the Palmetto State is giving these grants out after numerous studies have pointed to South Carolina roadways as some of the nation’s most deadly, and it is great to see the State taking a proactive approach to tackling a serious problem. But, with that being said, throwing money at a problem is never a definitive solution, and it will take a mindful effort by all South Carolinians to reduce the number of auto related accidents, injuries, and deaths in the Palmetto State.
The grant moneys in Dorchester County will not be used to hire traffic personnel to go out and work wrecks after they’ve happened, but rather to hire two new full-time deputies whose job will be strictly devoted to preventative traffic enforcement. Ultimately, the goal for the County is reduce the number of car accidents, serious injuries, and wrongful deaths by putting the focus on preventing traffic violations, which will include the newly hired deputies speaking to groups on safe driving practices and collision prevention. Additionally, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office said that there will be a noticeable increase in driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement in hopes of reducing the number of drunk driving accidents.
In addition to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, agencies that received Highway Safety grant moneys this year include the Berkley and Charleston County Sheriff’s Offices, and the Charleston, Hanahan, Mount Pleasant, and Summerville police departments.
With the frequency of accidents across the tri-county area, it seems these grant funds are being well allocated. Case in point, there was an accident that happened early Tuesday morning on Interstate-26 near exit 217 in which a 42-year-old woman from Charleston lost control of her car and struck a pickup truck driven by 33-year-old man from Summerville. The 7:00 a.m. collision caused the pickup to overturn, while the woman’s car drove off the interstate.
Preliminary investigations by the South Carolina Highway Patrol determined the Charleston woman was at fault for her involvement in the accident and was “driving too fast for conditions.” Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported by the Post and Courier, and it can be assumed the pickup’s driver and passenger are doing okay after being taken to Medical University Hospital. However, the crash did cause headaches for morning rush hour commuters making their way to work and school in the eastbound lanes of I-26, the two left lanes were closed for an hour.