Midway Fire responds to serious accident on Hwy 17 - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Ocean Highway bus accident kills one, leaves another in critical condition

PAWLEYS ISLAND, SC (WMBF) – The Highway 17 crash between a bus and a pickup truck has claimed the life of one person Tuesday night and left another in critical condition.

Bob Beebe, spokesman for Midway Fire Rescue, says a collision between a 1997 Dodge pickup truck and a Williamsburg County Transit bus on Highway 17 and Beaumont Road occurred just before 7 p.m. Tuesday and it claimed the life of the pickup truck driver, Craig Smith, 47, of Pawleys Island, due to head trauma and left one bus passenger in critical condition. 

Officials say the bus driver, Joshua McCrea, of Kingstree, SC was traveling south when the truck crossed Highway17 and the bus struck the truck's driver's side.

Coroner Kenny Johnson tells WMBF News an autopsy is scheduled for Smith Wednesday morning at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

According to Beebe, there were 19 patients total and 12 were transported to the hospital. Three patients were taken to the Grand Strand Regional Hospital, two were taken to the Waccamaw Community Hospital and seven were taken to the Georgetown Memorial Hospital.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, and Midway Fire Rescue officials say the bus had a surveillance camera onboard.  South Carolina Highway Patrol will reportedly review the footage to see who was a fault.

First responders from Murrells Inlet, Horry County and Georgetown City and County assisted the Midway Fire Rescue in their response.

Beebe confirmed, the southbound and northbound lanes have been opened and the accident scene has been cleared.

Alfonzo Allen, a friend to Smith, says he witnessed the crash, and he believes Smith never saw the bus coming.

"[Smith] was just easing out [onto the road] to go home, and I guess he didn't see the bus," Allen said. "The bus tried to miss him, and hit him."

Allen says he can't imagine life without his friend Smith in it.

"It's hard for me right because that's my best friend, somebody I look up to," Allen said. "That's my brother, my friend."

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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