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Head-on collision claims lives

Other driver identified, hospitalized

Posted: September 6, 2018 5:15 p.m.
Updated: September 7, 2018 1:00 a.m.

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 (SCHP) Lance Cpl. David Jones reporting on a media hotline, online Real-Time Traffic Information website, the collision occurred just after 6 a.m.

More than four and a half hours later, at 10:40 a.m., SCHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, or MAIT, was still on the scene. While the victims had long since been taken from the scene, their vehicles remained as MAIT conducted its investigation, with one -- the deceased’s 2002 Toyota four-door -- already up on a rollback. The collision appeared to have destroyed virtually the entire front end of the sedan.

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 Toyota.

“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.

West also said Kicklighter and Hodge were planning to return to Florida within a week or so and that Hodge had a daughter there.

Jones identified the other driver as Dominic Booker, but did not provide Booker’s age or address. He said Booker, who was driving a 2017 Ford SUV, was injured in the collision and was taken to an area hospital in serious condition.

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.

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