A 26-year-old St. Matthews man has been charged with felony driving under the influence in a crash that left his passenger dead, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones.
Barry Walter Quattlebaum of 106 Great Circle Drive was charged Monday, exactly one month after the fatal accident that took the life of 21-year-old Sarah Ann Comer of Hickory Grove. Authorities claim Quattlebaum had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his system.
Quattlebaum appeared before Calhoun County Magistrate Robert H. Lake on Monday and was released on a $50,000 surety bond.
Lake said that if convicted, the maximum penalty Quattlebaum faces is 25 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. State law also requires those guilty of felony DUI to pay a mandatory fine of not less than $10,000 and serve no less than one year in prison.
The crash occurred at 3:12 a.m. Sept. 14 as Quattlebaum was driving a 2005 Chevrolet truck a south on Maybank Creek Road in Calhoun County.
The truck ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected to the left, then again to the right before it struck several trees, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.
All three occupants were ejected from the vehicle. None were wearing seatbelts.
Comer died at the scene as a result of blunt force trauma. She was a senior at Clemson University where she studied agricultural education.
Quattlebaum and another passenger were transported to area hospitals.
A State Law Enforcement Division toxicology report listed Quattlebaum’s blood alcohol level at .18. The legal limit in South Carolina is .08.
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