St. Matthews Wreck

A Nissan SUV is loaded onto a wrecker after it was recovered from an embankment on St. Matthews Road Monday morning.

Two individuals suffered serious injuries Monday morning when the vehicle they were in struck a St. Matthews Road overpass, plummeted down an embankment and caught fire.

The 2006 Nissan was traveling north on St. Matthews Road near Ruf Road around 7:48 a.m. when the driver lost control. The SUV went across the southbound lane and sideswiped a 2015 Toyota before breaking through the guardrail, striking trees and falling down the embankment, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Judd Jones said.

"The vehicle caught on fire," Jones said.

The driver of the Nissan, Thomasea Simmons, 57, was charged with driving too fast for conditions.

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Simmons and the 61-year old passenger of the Nissan were transported to the Regional Medical Center. The name of the passenger was not known, Jones said.

The full extent of their injuries was not known Monday afternoon.

"There was minimum damage to the Toyota," Jones said.

The driver of the Toyota from St. Matthews was not transported.

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The Orangeburg Department of Public Safety and the South Carolina Department of Transportation responded to the incident. An SCDOT backhoe was used to lift up and remove the guardrail debris.

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Staff Writer

Gene Zaleski is a reporter/staff writer with The Times and Democrat.

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