By HEATHER RUPPE
A 68-year-old Hendersonville man died on July 21st after his truck struck a downed tree laying in Ritter Road and then went off of the road, hitting another tree.
According to the Lance Cpl. Nick Pye with the S.C. Highway Patrol, the victim was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash, which occurred at about 7:25 p.m. on Ritter Road, near U.S. Highway 17A. Pye said the victim was traveling north in a 2016 Chevy Pickup when he struck a downed tree that was laying in the roadway. The driver then overcorrected and went off of the road, hitting another tree.
“This case remains under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol,” said Pye.
The driver was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, said Pye.
According to Colleton County Fire-Rescue Chief Barry McRoy, witnesses told authorities that a “large tree” fell across Ritter Road, blocking both lanes of the road. McRoy said the man’s vehicle became airborne after hitting the downed tree, and then crashed into about 8-inches of water.
“Bystanders advised 9-1-1 dispatchers the man was unconscious,” said McRoy. “Fire-Rescue units arrived in the rural area 10 minutes later. Bystanders had broken a side window to access the patient and they had moved the tree from one of the travel lanes.”
A portion of Ritter Rd between Hendersonville Hwy (US Hwy 17-A) and White Hall Road was blocked for two hours while the SC Highway Patrol and the Colleton County Coroner’s Office conducted their investigations, said McRoy.