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Traffic fatalities result in extra SCHP presence

Posted: August 11, 2015 5:24 p.m.
Updated: August 12, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Additional S.C. Highway Patrol (SCHP) troopers will be on Kershaw County’s roads in the weeks ahead following five fatalities in one week.

In a statement released Monday, Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews said he asked the SCHP to increase the number of troopers following the four crashes, one of which killed two people on a motorcycle. Matthews said the five fatalities equaled the number of traffic-related deaths for the entire first seven months of the year. He pointed out none of the five recent deaths were due to driving under the influence.

“Law enforcement cannot possibly stop this terrible trend, but we can penalize those who violate those traffic laws that, if ignored, can contribute to death and serious injuries,” Matthews said in the press release. “What we really need is for the public to obey the traffic laws. To quit texting while driving. To slow down. To wear their seatbelts. To stop passing in no passing zones. To avoid drinking or taking drugs before or while driving and to be more courteous and less aggressive while driving.”

Matthews said S.C. Department of Public Safety Director Leroy Smith and SCHP Col. Mike Oliver have pledged sending additional troopers to Kershaw County on a temporary basis. As a result, motorists in Kershaw County can expect to see more officers on the roads during the next couple of weeks.

The recent tragic week began Monday, Aug. 3 when Drew David, 17, from Camden was killed following a single vehicle accident in which he was ejected from a vehicle and died as a result of massive head trauma. Jerry Yount, 54, from Camden was killed Friday afternoon when his vehicle was struck head-on on Red Hill Road. Although he was not wearing his seatbelt, he remained in the vehicle and died of massive trauma.

John Randall Hudson, 29, and his wife, Marie Jackson Hudson, 27, were killed when the motorcycle they were riding was struck by a car on Wildwood Lane in Elgin on Saturday. Both were wearing helmets but died of massive trauma. Evan Pauling, 40, from Camden was killed the same evening when the motorcycle he was driving ran off the side of St. Paul Road and ran into a guy wire.

“This past week has been a serious reminder of just how quickly a life can be snuffed out or drastically changed in a split second,” Matthews said.

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