An Orangeburg woman has been charged with being under the influence of narcotics at the time of a 2012 fatal car crash.

Nancy Hughes, 52, was charged Friday with felony driving under the influence involving death after authorities said she tested for positive for multiple drugs following a head-on collision that killed a 77-year-old Orangeburg man.

“You’d better not drive, I don’t want you in a car,” Orangeburg County Magistrate Peggy Doremus told the woman during her Friday bond hearing. “You’d better not be behind the wheel of a car until this is settled.”

Doremus set bond on Hughes at $25,000 surety.

Investigators said Walter Jones died instantly during the Dec. 13, 2012 collision west of Orangeburg.

Attorney Paul Owen had asked the court to deny bond, saying the family had lost a “loving father” in the crash while Hughes shouldn’t have been driving due to a suspended license.

“She is a threat to the community,” he said. “My client is dead because of her actions.”

Owen said the man’s family members couldn’t be present. They live in Michigan, he said.

S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. William Rogan told the court Hughes had minor charges across the state, including shoplifting, open container and disorderly conduct.

Rogan said while he doesn’t believe the Orangeburg woman is a flight risk, he agreed with Owen that she poses a danger to the community.

“I think bond should be set accordingly,” he said.

According to the warrant, a toxicology report showed Hughes was under the influence of marijuana, Adderall, Xanax and Versed, a prescription anesthesia.

The fatal crash happened on Kennerly Road around 4 p.m. when the two SUVs driven by Jones and Hughes collided.

Hughes was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia after the crash.

Contact the writer: or 803-533-5516.

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