ORANGEBURG, S.C. – South Carolina Highway Patrol officials have confirmed five people have died in a multi-vehicle accident in Orangeburg, South Carolina.
Officials say the accident occurred around 12:37 p.m. Thursday when a 2001 Chevrolet SUV traveling eastbound on I-26 ran into median cables and then into the westbound lanes of I-26 striking two tractor trailers.
According to Lance Corporal Tyler Tidwell of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, seven passengers were traveling in the 2001 Chevrolet SUV, five of them were pronounced dead on scene and two were taken to a local area hospital.
According to information released Friday by Orangeburg County Coroner Samuetta Marshall, and confirmed by The Times and Democrat (Orangeburg, SC), the five victims were Justin Cooper, 39, of 591 Little Beaver Road, Calvin; Michael Russell, 67, 14058 Webster Road, Calvin; and Andrew Morris, 37; Jasmine Morris, 25; and Gracie Taylor, 7, each of 1358 Hickory Flats Road, Erbacon.
Each person died of massive blunt force trauma sustained in the collision, according to Marshall and The Times and Democrat.
The collision is under investigation by the South Carolina Highway Patrol.
According to The Times and Democrat, one of the tractor-trailers caught fire. The collision caused westbound traffic to halt for several hours, and eastbound traffic saw delays of about 30 minutes.
The S.C. Highway Patrol and its Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team are investigating the accident, according to the paper.
Stay with 12 News as we will continue to follow this developing story.