BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Coroner's Office has identified four people killed during a 5-vehicle wreck in Berkeley County Wednesday night.
Coroner Bill Salisbury identified the victims 55-year-old Edith Jackson, 45-year-old Angie Arthur, and 51-year-old Melvira Johnson. Jackson and Arthur are from Georgetown, and Johnson is from Loris, according to Salisbury.
Salisbury said several vehicles from The Lighthouse of Jesus Christ Church were traveling south on Highway 17A near Freefall Lane, just two miles south of Jamestown, around 7:30 p.m. when they collided with a northbound vehicle, driven by 36-year-old Steven Morse, of Jamestown, who was also pronounced dead at the scene.
Salisbury said the Georgetown trio killed in the wreck died from thermal burns sustained after their SUV burst into flames. Morse died from body trauma, according to Salisbury.
Pastor Floyd Knowlin was part of the caravan of church members headed to a Russellville church for a revival event, and he saw the accident.
"We felt it just... Shook the whole van. I seen sparks from the highway and then I look to my right. I look in the woods and I saw a blaze of fire," Pastor Knowlin said. "Everybody was all over the place. All of a sudden I see the car on fire and they said Deacon Arthur and those in that car."
A fourth passenger, John Arthur, who is a church deacon and Angie Arthur's husband, was pulled from the burning SUV and taken to the hospital. Pastor Floyd says he had several broken bones and underwent surgery, but will be okay.
Pastor Knowlin will have church on Sunday and says the congregation will need ministry after the loss of three of their own.
"They wouldn't want us to close the church down, because of them being with the Lord. The Bible says in 1st Corinthians, 'To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord,' so they are with the Lord."
According to the Georgetown Times newspaper Morse had three dogs inside his vehicle, a Ford Fiesta, at the time of the crash. One of those dogs was killed, and the other two have not been found, according to the newspaper.
Highway Patrol is investigating, but have not released the cause of this accident.