Bond set at $120,000 for Summerville man charged in crash that killed three people
SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Bond has been set at $120,000 for a Summerville man who was arrested for a two-vehicle collision that killed people on the Nexton Parkway.
The Highway Patrol charged 18-year-old Joshua Patrick Wensell with three counts of reckless homicide. Wensell had a bond court hearing on Tuesday night where he was given a $40,000 surety bond on each charge and ordered to have no contact with the victims' families.
Wensell’s charges stem from the Oct. 11 collision that took the lives of 49-year-old Chad Freeman, 48-year-old Andrea Freeman and 74-year-old Meredith Freeman. The coroner’s office said all of the deceased were family members and were from Summerville.
SCHP officials said Wensell was driving a 2016 Jeep Wrangler on the Nexton Parkway when he collided with a 2008 Toyota Avalon.
Authorities reported that the Avalon was traveling south, and when it attempted to make a left onto Brighton Park Boulevard it was struck by the Wrangler which was traveling north.
Wensell’s attorney, Tom Fernandez, told the judge that his client was full of pain because of what happened, and said that he was not a danger to the community and has no previous criminal record.
An attorney representing the victims' families said the collision was an “unspeakable tragedy” and the surviving Freeman’s are “suffering deeply.” The family’s attorney left the bond amount to the discretion of the judge, saying that the family did not want to demand a large amount for the bond.
Cpl. Proctor with the Highway Patrol spoke during the hearing saying the incident was a “horrific traffic collision."
“This young man made the logical decision to go the speed he was going," Proctor said. “He wasn’t a threat that day until he made the decision to be a threat. So, the Highway Patrol is requesting no bond.”
Investigators said it was early into the investigation into the collision, and have not yet released any detailed information including the actual speeds of the vehicle involved.
Wensell’s attorney said he asked his client how fast he was going at the time of the incident.
“He did tell me he was not going any much faster than speed limit,” Fernandez said during an interview following Tuesday night’s bond court hearing. “[Highway Patrol] cannot give us a number, and they only tell us that they’re still investigating and trying to determine what that speed was.”
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