Highway Patrol illustration (copy)


Three people, including a husband and wife, died following a collision in Calhoun County, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins.

The collision occurred at about 7:50 p.m. Monday as a 2005 Honda Civic was traveling west on U.S. Highway 176.

A Chevrolet Camaro was traveling east on U.S. 176. It ran off the right side of the road, overcorrected and hit the Civic in a head-on crash.

The driver of the Camaro, 21-year-old Danny Lee Hartless of St. Matthews, died in the crash. He was not wearing a seatbelt.

The driver of the Civic, 67-year-old James Russell Counts, and his wife, 48-year-old Tammy Elaine Counts, both of Pelion, died in the crash. James Russell Counts was wearing a seatbelt while Tammy Elaine Counts was not.

Calhoun County Coroner Donnie Porth said each of the victims died of blunt force trauma sustained during the collision.

The crash remains under investigation.

According to the most recent data from the S.C. Department of Public Safety, 322 people have died on South Carolina’s highways as of May 13, compared to 382 highway deaths during the same time period in 2017.

Of the 234 motor vehicle occupants who have died in 2018, 116 were not wearing seat belts.

Through May 13, 48 pedestrians have died compared to 54 in 2017; 31 motorcyclists have died compared to 42 in 2017; and five bicyclists have died compared to seven in 2017 on state roads and highways.

In Calhoun County, there have been five highway fatalities in 2018.

Orangeburg County has had 12 highway fatalities so far this year. Bamberg County has not had any.

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Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD.


Staff Writer

Martha Rose Brown covers crime and other topics. The South Carolina native has been a journalist for the past 16 years.

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