Dump truck driver killed in 8-car pile up on Hwy 17

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The driver of a large dump truck was killed Tuesday morning after the truck collided with at least seven cars on Highway 17 in Mt. Pleasant. The major wreck killed a dump truck driver and shut down Highway 17 in both directions for most of the day.

According to Mt. Pleasant police, the collision happened at 9:48 a.m. on Highway 17 North near the Mt. Pleasant Towne Centre. A large dump truck hit a vehicle at the intersection of Market Center Boulevard.

After striking that car, the dump truck plowed into six more vehicles in the northbound lane before hitting a tree in front of a pharmacy. The dump truck then caught fire, killing the driver, 73-year-old James Cook of Summerville. Autopsy results show that Cook died from injuries sustained in the accident.

Highway 17 has been shut down in both directions since 10 a.m. Traffic is being diverted off of Highway 17 onto Venning and Mathis Ferry Roads and the Isle of Palms Connector.  The road will remain closed until at least 4 p.m., pending the conclusion of the accident investigation. Once the roadway is reopened, delays should still be expected.

Mt. Pleasant Police are urging drivers to avoid the area. Drivers can take Hungryneck Boulevard, go around Lowes and then head toward the Rite Aid. Drivers can also use Longpoint Road or Rifle Range Road.

Lorraine grant works in the area and saw the whole accident unfold.

"I saw other people in other cars some of them were injured but other people jumped out of their car to make sure they were alright so I saw at least three people get pulled from their car someone was helping them out fo their car," Grant said.

The Mount Pleasant Police Department and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are conducting the investigation.

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