Three people are dead after a tractor-trailer collided head-on with another vehicle in Orangeburg County on Monday afternoon.
Kevin Scott Thomas of Mt. Airy, Georgia, was operating a 2011 Freightliner tractor-trailer eastbound on Interstate 26 when it “crossed over the median” and struck a 2008 Toyota van head-on at mile marker 154, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. David Jones.
Three people in the van were killed. A medical helicopter transported a fourth occupant of the van to a hospital to be treated for serious injuries.
Jones said EMS transported the driver of the tractor-trailer to a local hospital to be treated for injuries. Thomas was wearing a seatbelt.
The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office has not yet released the identifications of the three people who were killed.
The incident remains under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol and the Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team.
For at least three hours on Monday, motorists sought detours around I-26 near the collision site.
On Monday, the S.C. Department of Public Safety announced seven people died on the state’s roads over the weekend.
Six of the deaths occurred on U.S. routes, S.C. roads and secondary roads. One death occurred on a country road.
SCDPS reports 438 people died on the state’s highways this year as of June 23, compared to 494 deaths during the same period in 2018.
In Orangeburg County, there have been 18 highway fatalities in 2019, compared to 19 during the same time period last year. Calhoun County has had two fatalities compared to one during the same timeframe a year ago. There have not been any highway fatalities in Bamberg County this year, the same as last year during the same time.