Two killed in head-on crash
by The Press and Standard | September 27, 2018 5:00 pm
Last Updated: September 26, 2018 at 9:18 am
A fiery three-vehicle crash on Snider’s Highway the morning of Sept. 20 claimed the lives of two of the motorists and sent two other accident victims to medical facilities in critical condition.
Colleton County Chief Deputy Coroner Richard Carter said a forensic examination conducted on the two motorists was required to make the formal identifications.
Carter reports that killed in the crash were Florida B. Williams, 71, of Hampton and Ronnie M. Proveaux, 56, of Brunson.
Lance Corporal Matt Southern of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said safety forces were called to Snider’s Highway, east of Brick Road at approximately 11:50 a.m.
According to the initial investigation into the crash, Williams, driving a westbound Hyundai SUV, crossed over the center line and collided head-on with an eastbound 2006 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Proveaux.
The impact sent the tractor-trailer into the westbound lane where it struck a Toyota Avalon containing two Hampton County females.
Then both the tractor-trailer and the Avalon went off the roadway and struck several trees.
The tractor-trailer caught fire. Colleton County Fire-Rescue personnel responding to the emergency call reported seeing a large column of black smoke when they were still five miles from the crash site.
Williams was ejected from her vehicle, which also caught fire.
Both Proveaux and Williams were pronounced dead at the scene.
Arriving units found the well-involved tractor-trailer off in the woods, the Toyota Avalon with heavy damage in the woods near the rear of the tractor-trailer, and a small crossover type vehicle, which was also on fire, about 75 feet west, said Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy.
A large amount of diesel fuel, from a dislodged tank on the tractor-trailer, covered the scene and was burning on the highway.
The semi-truck was loaded with wood chips. The front of the trailer and the load were on fire. Grass and woods fires were burning on both sides of the roadway.
Bystanders pulled one woman from the passenger seat of the Avalon and took her to safety on the opposite side of the road. They had been unable to free the female driver.
The intense fire was burning near the Avalon, with the dislodged breached fuel tank burning in front of the vehicle.
Additional fire units, ambulances and a medical helicopter were called to the scene. Firefighter-paramedics began treating the injured, while other crewmembers used multiple hand lines to combat the fires. Crews worked to extinguish the fire near the Avalon first so they could safely access the patient and begin extrication.
Crews knocked down the flames, and then used hydraulic tools to extricate the driver of the Avalon as she was receiving medical attention.
The woman was removed from the car in critical condition and transported to a nearby field by ambulance to meet with the C.A.R.E. Flight helicopter. She was flown to an area trauma center.
The other surviving female patient was transported in critical condition to the Trauma Center at Trident Hospital in North Charleston by ambulance.
Colleton County Sheriff’s deputies assisted with traffic control. Traffic on Snider’s Highway was rerouted for six hours.
Southern said the state patrol’s Multiple Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team is investigating the fatal accident.