SC Highway Patrol Troopers confirm two people have died following a head-on collision in Laurens County.
The collision occurred at approximately 11:51 p.m. Saturday on US 76 near Grain Bin Road Saturday night.
Troopers say a 2007 Ford Mustang was traveling west on US 76 and a 2004 Ford Taurus was traveling east on US 76 when the Taurus traveled left of center and struck the Mustang head-on.
Troopers say there were three occupants in the Mustang. All were wearing seat belts, injured, entrapped and extricated by mechanical means.
The driver was transported by helicopter to Spartanburg Regional where the driver succumbed to their injuries. The right front passenger was transported by helicopter to Greenville Memorial where the passenger succumbed to their injuries.
The coroner identified the victims as 63-year-old Lois King and 65-year-old Marge Seymore of Clinton.
Per the coroner, King died of blunt force trauma at Greenville Memorial at 1:19 a.m. She worked for Laurens County School District 56. Seymore also died of blunt force trauma at Spartanburg Regional at 3:35 a.m. She worked for Bailey Manor.
The left rear passenger in the Mustang was transported by EMS to Self-Regional. The victim's daughter, Carol Harvell, said her mother is in critical but stable condition. She said her mom's injuries include a fractured sternum, multiple cracked ribs, broken lumbar vertebrae, a pneumothorax, severe bruising all over her body and tongue and lip lacerations.
Harvell said her mom, aunt Bit, or Lois King, and their friend Marge Seymore had just left an Elvis impersonator concert at the Opera House in Newberry."Mama remembers the fun they had that night before the wreck," Harvell said. "They all loved Elvis. They had went to an Elvis impersonator concert featuring Rick Alviti in Newberry at the Opera House. They stopped afterwards and had milkshakes and just had a good time. They saw the car coming at them and Marge tried to get out of the way."She said they were less than two miles away from their destination when the crash occurred.
On Monday, Harvell said her mother's vitals were stable and she was moved out of the ICU and in to the surgical wing.
"She's in a lot of pain since she's waking up more. She is still considered serious condition," Harvell said. "My mama has a very long road to recovery ahead of her."
Harvell shared these kind words about her aunt and their friend Marge who did not survive the collision:"[My aunt] was an amazing person and would do anything for anybody. She loved her family and the kids that she helped take care of at Joanna Woodson Elementary. She had an infectious, bubbly personality and to know her was to love her. I didn’t know Mrs. Marge but I’ve heard nothing but great things about her."Per troopers, there were five occupants in the Taurus.
The driver, identified as 38-year-old Khelsy Chanta Rice from Clinton, was wearing a seat belt, was injured, entrapped and extricated by mechanical means. The driver was transported to Greenville memorial. Their condition is unknown.
Per warrants, Rice was charged with 2 counts felony DUI resulting in death, 3 counts felony DUI causing great bodily injury, 1 count of child endangerment and 1 count open container.
Troopers say four juveniles were also in the vehicle. None of them were seat belted and all were injured, troopers say. All of them were transported to Greenville Memorial where their conditions are unknown.
The incident remains under investigation by SC Highway Patrol and the MAIT team.
Laurens County School District 56
Superintendent Dr. David O'Shields released this statement to staff members about the tragedy:"It is with extreme sadness I must inform you of the tragic loss of Ms. Lois (Bit) King, PowerSchool administrator at Joanna-Woodson Elementary School. She was killed in a car accident last night.
Please pray for her husband, her girls and their families, especially her grandchildren, and a whole host of lives she touched.
Ms. Bit was a beacon of joy and inspiration to all whom she met. She was, as was the JWES mascot, a star. Her rightful place now is in the heavens.
Words cannot express our sadness or grief at this time; however, we must remember her legacy and let her love and her belief in her Savior light our path during this difficult time."MORE NEWS: NCDOT: I-26 reopened in WNC after flooding, mudslides; State of Emergency declared in Polk Co.
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