Horry County leads fatal crash rate in SC; hwy patrols say some are preventable

News13 Digital First

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Driving on any road or highway may presents its own danger, however, according to a South Carolina Department of Public Safety report, driving in Horry County could be downright deadly.

Horry County leads in the number of traffic fatalities in South Carolina so far in 2019. The county has currently seen 62 fatal crashes, contributing the most out of South Carolina 46 counties totaling 758.

Weeks ago a motorcyclist killed on Highway 501 and on September 16th a roll over crash left three trapped inside of a vehicle. On July 25th, two were killed and five others hurt. These are just three recent crashes contributing to Horry County’s fatality rise.

State Highway Patrol, Corporal Sonny Collins, tells News13 the majority of crashes, not necessarily fatal, happen at intersections, red lights, and from people following the car in front too close.

Corporal Collins sees most highway crashes along HWY 501, 17, and 544. To some surprise, Collins said fatal crashes don’t always happen on the highway.

Often fatal crashes are not high speed and happen on rural, two-lane roads, involving a single vehicle or pedestrian at night.

A recent SCDOT study shows Horry County intersections having a fatal and injury rate greater than the statewide average. 

Year to year highway patrol see certain areas spike with a repeated number of accidents. That is not the case this year.

“This year from Conway to Loris, Aynor, and all over the county we have seen fatal crashes,” Collins said.

Horry County’s fatal crashes are often not high speed crashes and range from 40 to 55 mph. The crashes that occur, patrols say, are sometimes the ones where a seat belt could have made the difference.

At the end of the day, Collins said it goes back to the drivers seat.

“All of us drivers have a responsibility to drive the posted speed limits, wear our seat belts, not be distracted by cell phones,” Collins said.

Highway patrol will soon begin their high visibility enforcement and tell News13 they hope their heavy presence will put driver’s behaviors back in line and remind them of good driving habits.

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