Two deadly auto-pedestrian accidents on Folly Road within days leaves witness seeking changes

Balloons mark where a woman was killed Monday night after crossing Folly Road (Source: Live 5)
Balloons mark where a woman was killed Monday night after crossing Folly Road (Source: Live 5)

JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Folly Road has seen two deadly accidents involving pedestrians in the last few days, already more than in 2016.

Friday night the Charleston County Sheriff's Office responded to Folly Road near Battery Island Drive for an auto-pedestrian accident.

"I saw her, and then I didn't see her," said Mike McMahon, a witness.

The Charleston County Coroner said Mildred Bennett Brown, 66, of Mt. Pleasant, died at the hospital after she was hit by a car crossing the road.

"Four women left the funeral home to go a family member's house directly across the street," McMahon said.

"They were running across the road, and I couldn't move quick enough," said the driver in a 911 call.

An incident report states Brown failed to yield the right of way and was struck by the car heading south on Folly Road.

McMahon said it was pitch black, and raining hard around 10 p.m. when the accident happened.

He added there weren't that many cars out on the road at that time of night.

"I saw the one car a nanosecond before he hit the woman," he said.

McMahon turned around and came back to the scene of the accident to help.

Having traveled Folly Road often, he's concerned about the number of accidents involving pedestrians and blames it on one thing, speed.

"That's the issue, that's the fact," McMahon said. "There's no reaction time when you're going too fast."

"I'm not going across the street because people are driving too fast," said a family member of the victim in another 911 call made Friday night.

McMahon said he's been in contact with the family of the victim and the driver involved. He said the driver is still shaken up over what happened.

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office has not said whether speed was a factor, or if any charges will be filed.

On Monday shortly after 10 p.m. the Charleston Police Department responded to a fatal auto-pedestrian accident in the 1400 block of Folly Road; nearly two miles north of Friday's accident.

"There's somebody that's been hit in the road, lying there," said a 911 caller from Monday's accident.

The Charleston County Coroner identified the victim as Coretta Harley, 61, of James Island.

"It's sad… it's just devastating to have this happen," McMahon said.

The driver involved in Monday's accident told dispatchers he was a military medic and immediately checked Harley's vitals after the incident.

"I was doing maybe 35-40 and I tried to hit the breaks and nothing," he said in a 911 call. "I could not stop."

No charges have been filed at this time in Monday's incident, according to CPD spokesman Charles Francis.

McMahon said he plans to reach out to the proper agency to try and get the speed limit changed along Folly Road; currently its 45 miles per hour.

In the meantime, he urges drivers to aware of their surroundings, especially at night, and obey the speed limit.

Statistics from the South Carolina Department of Highway Patrol show there were three pedestrians hit by cars on Folly Road in 2016. There were no fatal accidents.

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