Crashes, fatalities increasing along Hwy. 17

Crashes, fatalities increasing along Hwy. 17

AWENDAW, SC (WCSC) - Four dead, 12 others injured: those are the results of crashes in the last month to which Awendaw-McClellanville Consolidated Fire District has responded.

Most of those have been along Highway 17 in the area.

Officials with the department say, however, it's not about the number of crashes but the severity of the injuries.

Battalion Chief Michael Bowers said there were ejections in several of those crashes.

"You'll get a call at 2 o'clock in the morning for an accident and you just fear the worst," Bowers said.

In the last month, seven crashes have resulted in the four fatalities and a dozen injuries, he says, and two of the most recent accidents involved teenagers.

"At least in four of those accidents, there could have been another five fatalities easily," Bowers said.

Bowers added several factors are playing into these crashes: inexperience when it comes to younger drivers, people not paying attention, drinking and driving and speed.

"Folks take advantage with the speed, even though it is 60. It's kind of wide open," Bowers said.

That particular stretch of highway is also a national forest. There are animals that can run out in the road and there are no lights: a reason it's even
more important to pay attention to the road.

"Be aware of your situation and what you're doing," Bowers said. "Drive safe. Drive sober."

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