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Head-on collision claims lives

Young couple killed when other car crosses line

Posted: September 2, 2018 1:29 p.m.
Updated: September 2, 2018 1:29 p.m.
Martin L. Cahn/C-I

Elgin, 11:45 a.m. Sunday -- Members of the S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, or MAIT, work carefully as a trooper looks on at the scene of head-on collision that took two lives earlier in the morning. A trooper at the scene estimated MAIT would continue investigating for another two hours. Troopers blocked off the intersection, primarily from Lugoff side, forcing many drivers to turn around and head back to U.S. 601 and I-20 to make their way to Columbia.

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A head-on collision on Fort Jackson Road (S.C. 12) where White Pond Road becomes Porter Cross Road resulted in the deaths of a young couple early Sunday morning. According to the S.C. Highway Patrol’s (SCHP) online Real-Time Traffic Information website, the collision occurred at or shortly before 6:19 a.m.

More than four hours later, at 10:40 a.m., SCHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, or MAIT, was still on the scene. While the victims had already been transported to area hospitals, their vehicles remained at the scene, one -- a dark green 4-door sedan -- on a rollback, the other what appeared to be a mauve four-door hatchback. The collision appeared to have destroyed virtually the entire front end of the smaller car.

Nearly an hour after that, a trooper said MAIT was likely to be on the scene for another two hours. The trooper confirmed that the collision took place around 6 a.m., that it was head-on and that there were multiple fatalities, but declined to say how many people died.

At 3 p.m., Kershaw County Coroner David West issued a press release confirming two fatalities, a man and a woman. He identified the man as Nicholas P. Kicklighter, 26, of Jefferson, Ga., and the woman as Jennalee D. Hodge, 27, of Sarasota, Fla. West said the two were boyfriend and girlfriend, currently living in Lugoff, and that Kicklighter was driving the green car.

“The car that the two deceased were in was heading westbound toward Columbia (on S.C. 12). The vehicle that crossed the center line was heading eastbound toward Lugoff,” West said in the press release. “The two deceased were going to work and they worked at Dunkin Donuts in Columbia.”

He said the couple was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:50 a.m.

In an earlier phone call, West said he did not have any information regarding the other vehicle or its passengers.

The SCHP blocked traffic just east of the intersection, allowing people driving eastbound on Fort Jackson Road from Columbia to turn left on White Pond Road and right on Porter Cross Road. They could not cross through the intersection to continue traveling toward Lugoff.

Troopers, however, blocked off Fort Jackson Road several hundred yards from the wreck, forcing drivers coming from Lugoff to turn around. Many drivers -- despite being able to see that the road was blocked off after coming around a curve about a quarter-mile away -- came nearly or even all the up to crime scene tape stretched between a trooper’s patrol car and a mailbox before turning around.

The trooper at the scene said that, earlier in the morning, one person actually entered a residential driveway and drove through front yards in an attempt to reach White Pond Road before being stopped and told to turn back.

The Chronicle-Independent will have more about this collision as it becomes available and a full story will appear in Friday’s print edition since Tuesday’s edition has already gone to press.



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