Report: Summerville man was going 72 mph in 40 mph zone in triple fatal crash
BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A Summerville man was traveling 72 mph in a 40 mph zone in his jeep when he struck a car on the Nexton Parkway which killed three people, according to new court documents released.
Highway Patrol troopers arrested 18-year-old Joshua Patrick Wensell with three counts of reckless homicide, and was given a $120,000 bond on Tuesday night.
The Sunday afternoon crash 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.
On Wednesday afternoon, authorities released arrest affidavits which shed more light into the investigation.
A responding trooper said he arrived on the scene at 4:30 p.m. and saw Wensell’s Jeep Wrangler overturned on its side, and the victims' vehicle, a Toyota Avalon, with heavy passenger side damage.
The trooper said he observed the driver of the Avalon, identified as Chad Freeman, along with the other two occupants were deceased.
According to the arrest affidavit, the Highway Patrol’s MultiDisciplinary Accident Investigation Team assisted in the investigation and said they were able to determine that Wensell was traveling 72 mph in a 40 mph zone.
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 jeep which was traveling north.
The affidavit states that Wensell was driving in a reckless manner and disregarded the safety of others which resulted in a t-bone collision which caused the fatal injuries.
In an interview following Tuesday night’s bond hearing, Wensell’s attorney Tom Fernandez said he had asked his client how fast he was driving at the time of the crash.
“He did tell me he was not going any much faster than speed limit,” Fernandez said.
Fernandez told the judge on Tuesday night 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 and said 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."
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