One person died in a fiery blaze after a tanker truck and a white sedan collided on Thursday near Santee. Two people narrowly escaped injury.
The crash happened at 2:32 p.m. on the U.S. Highway 301 overpass where it connects with Interstate 95.
Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said that he and team members responded to the scene to help free the driver of the tanker truck, control the fire from the crash and contain the fuel spill.
Clean-up contractors arrived on the scene Thursday night to remove fuel residue and hazardous materials, Staley said.
The U.S. 301 overpass remained closed into Thursday night.
Details about what caused the fuel tanker and white sedan to crash weren’t immediately available.
A man and a woman were several yards from the scene with purple blankets on their shoulders as they spoke with a state trooper about how to get their vehicle towed from the scene.
Orangeburg County Fire District Director Teddy Wolfe said that dispatchers called all of the firefighters in the eastern end of the county to the scene.
The fire followed the trail of gasoline which spilled from the overpass and onto a steep grass embankment, connecting to I-95 below.
In addition to using water to extinguish the blaze, firefighters also used foam. Wolfe said the county fire district’s foam truck contained 150 gallons of it.
The following fire departments responded to the scene: Santee, Vance, Eutawville, Elloree, Holly Hill, Providence, Branchville, Bowman, Four Holes and Dorchester County.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office, Santee Police Department and other law enforcement officers assisted in redirecting traffic.
The accident remains under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol. The name of the person who died in the crash wasn’t immediately available.
Thursday’s accident is the second vehicular fatality in Orangeburg County this year. There weren’t any highway fatalities in Orangeburg County during the same timeframe last year.
There haven’t been any highway fatalities in Bamberg and Calhoun counties so far this year.