At least three people were killed early Sunday morning in two separate crashes that happened on the same stretch of an interstate in Lexington County, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol.
A pedestrian died at the scene of one wreck on Interstate 26, while hours later two drivers were killed in a head-on collision just a few miles away, Highway Patrol said.
The first crash happened about midnight, when Andre K. Howell was killed, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.
The 25-year-old Clinton resident was walking in I-26 to retrieve an item that had fallen from his vehicle when he was hit by another car, Fisher said.
Howell was in the eastbound lanes of I-26, near the 113 mile marker when he was hit by a 2020 Kia sedan, according to Lance Cpl. Nick Pye of Highway Patrol. That’s close to Exit 113, which is the junction with S.C. 302 to either the Columbia Metropolitan Airport or Cayce.
The 23-year-old driver of the Kia was injured and taken to an area hospital, Pye said. The driver was wearing a seat belt, but further information on the driver’s condition was not available.
At 5:30 a.m., I-26 was the site of another fatal wreck.
Both drivers of a 2018 Hyundai sedan and a 2011 Jeep SUV were killed in the two-vehicle collision at the 119 mile marker, according to Pye. That’s near Exit 119 on I-26, which is the junction with U.S. 21 and U.S. 176.
The Hyundai was heading east when it was hit by the Jeep traveling in the opposite direction in the eastbound lanes, Pye said.
Police did not provide information whether the drivers wore seat belts or why the Jeep was traveling in the wrong direction. The coroner’s office is expected to identify the drivers after notifying the next of kin.
No other injuries were reported.
Both collisions on the 6-mile stretch of I-26 are being investigated by Highway Patrol.
Through Friday afternoon, 576 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2021, state Department of Public Safety data shows.
At least 31 people have been killed in Lexington County crashes in 2021, according to DPS.
This is a developing story, check back for updates.