A tragic bus accident on Pawley’s Island in Georgetown County, South Carolina, has left one person dead and another fighting for his life in a local hospital. The accident occurred on Highway 17 on Tuesday night.
According to Bob Beebe, the official spokesperson for Midway Fire Rescue who responded to the accident, a Williamsburg County Transit bus carrying 30 passengers collided with a 1997 Dodge pickup truck at a busy intersection between Highway 17 and Beaumont road shortly before 7 pm on Tuesday. The accident claimed the life of the pickup truck driver, who has been identified as Craig Smith, a 47 year old resident of Pawley’s Island. His official cause of death was reported as head trauma after he flew through the windscreen of his truck during the collision. One passenger on the bus was seriously injured and remains in a critical condition in a local hospital on Pawley’s Island.
Local officials report that the bus driver, identified as Mr. Joshua McCrea from Kingstree, South Carolina, was driving in a southbound direction when the pickup truck crossed the intersection between Highway 17 and Beaumont Road, causing the bus to smash into the driver’s side of the pickup truck. The cause of the accident is still being investigated by the South Carolina Highway Patrol, and it is as yet unclear whether Mr. McCrea will be held liable for Mr. Smith’s death. There was a surveillance camera on board the bus, and footage from this camera will be used to determine who was at fault in the incident.
Mr. Alfonzo Allen, a friend of Mr. Smith’s, witnessed the accident. According to Allen, Smith was easing into the lane to turn at the intersection, and didn’t appear to see the bus coming. The bus attempted to avoid him, but hit the driver’s side.
The coroner attending to the case, Kenny Johnson, told the media that an autopsy will be conducted on Smith at the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center later this week.
Beebe reports that 19 people in total were injured in the accident, with 12 of them being transported to hospital and the others being treated for minor injuries on the scene. Three of the injured patients were transferred to Grand Strand Regional Hospital, two were admitted to Waccamaw Community Hospital and the remaining seven were treated at the Georgetown Memorial Hospital. All but one of the injured passengers has been discharged. As well as the Midway Fire Rescue, first responders from Horry County, Georgetown City and Murrells Inlet assisted with the rescue operation.