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Motor vehicle accidents: 3 dead in Oconee County

Out-of-state residents were the victims of a serious crash in Oconee County on the evening of Sept. 23. South Carolina Highway Patrol has reported that three people were killed in a head-on collision on Highway 11 near Walhalla. As with most motor vehicle accidents, this tragic incident is still under investigation. No charges have been filed. 

According to the accident report, a 51-year-old Georgia resident was traveling on Highway 11 when he apparently crossed the center line of the highway. This took his pickup truck into the path of a sedan headed in the other direction. The resulting collision caused massive damage to both vehicles, and the pickup truck driver was pronounced dead by the county coroner. 

The occupants of the car were equally unlucky. A 52-year-old man and his 20-year-old daughter, both visiting from North Carolina, were also killed in the crash. The man was driving the vehicle, and his daughter was in the back seat. A woman in the vehicle, the wife of the driver and mother of the passenger, was rushed to a local hospital with injuries of unknown severity. Police records indicate everyone was wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. 

In motor vehicle accidents where both drivers are killed, criminal charges do not apply as South Carolina law does not charge people posthumously. However, the official investigation may reveal the cause of the crash to be the fault of the driver who crossed the center line, either due to negligence, recklessness or even intoxication. Regardless of the outcome, the injured mother is likely entitled to file wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits against the estate of the pickup truck driver in a civil court. 

Source: wspa.com, "Authorities identify 3 killed in head-on crash in Oconee Co.", Sept. 23, 2017

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