Five people were killed and two were injured in a collision on Interstate 26 in Orangeburg County on Thursday afternoon.
Orangeburg County Coroner Samuetta Marshall said she didn’t think she would be in a position to release the names of the victims on Thursday.
"We are still doing identifications and still have to notify the next of kin. … Until we do that, we don't have any other information at this time," Marshall said.
The accident involved a vehicle and two tractor-trailers. It occurred on I-26 westbound at the 146 mile marker around 12:37 p.m.
A 2001 Chevrolet SUV with seven occupants was traveling east on I-26 when it crossed over the median, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell.
The SUV struck the median cable, crossed over the cable and struck a 2020 Freightliner tractor-trailer and a 2007 Volvo tractor-trailer that was traveling west.
The SUV overturned before coming to a rest.
Jamison Fire Department Chief Kirk Davis said a tractor-trailer caught fire.
The drivers of both tractor-trailers were not injured and were wearing seatbelts, Tidwell said.
Two individuals were transported to area hospitals. The nature of their injuries was not known.
All westbound lanes of traffic were blocked for several hours while motorists were detoured as emergency crews responded to the scene.
The interstate was blocked from Exit 149 to 145B westbound, Tidwell said.
Traffic on I-26 westbound saw delays of more than one hour, while those heading eastbound also saw about delays of more than 30 minutes.
Orangeburg County Emergency Services Director Billy Staley said the severity of the accident serves as a good reminder for motorists to use caution during the long holiday weekend.
"Wear your seat belts and obey the law," he said. "Drive safely. It is a holiday weekend and there are a lot of people on the highway."
In addition to the Jamison Fire Department and the Orangeburg County EOC, the Orangeburg County Emergency Medical Services, the Orangeburg County Coroner's Office and the Providence, Four Holes, West Middle and Edisto fire departments all responded to the scene.
The S.C. Highway Patrol and its Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team are investigating the accident.
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