Coroner: 2 now dead after car crashes into tow truck

JASPER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - - The coroner's office says a 52-year-old woman died Sunday making her the second fatality following an accident involving a tow truck in Jasper County.

Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls identified the victim as 55-year-old Denise Peeples Smith, the owner of East Coast Recovery, a Beaufort towing company. 52-year-old Phyllis Amsler Cook of Beaufort died at the scene.

Troopers say a Ford tow truck was parked in the emergency lane off the roadway, when the driver of a 2008 GMC pickup truck ran off the road and ran up the back of the tow truck on I-95 Saturday afternoon.

The driver of the GMC struck the vehicle on the back of the tow truck causing that vehicle to hit Smith, the tow truck operator. Authorities say the GMC then flew off the left of the tow truck killing Cook who was standing on the left side.

The driver of the pickup truck was hospitalized in Walterboro. The coroner said his injuries were not life threatening.

Copyright WCSC 2011 & the Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.