SCHP: Driver charged after 18-wheeler goes off U.S. 501 bridge

SCHP: Driver charged after 18-wheeler goes off U.S. 501 bridge
Crews remove part of an 18-wheeler that went over Waccamaw Memorial Bridge on Highway 501. (Source: WMBF News)

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) – The driver of an 18-wheeler that went over the guard rail of the U.S. 501 Bypass bridge on Thursday has been charged following that crash.

SCHP Master Trooper Brian Lee said Aaron Crawford, of Georgia, is facing a charge of driving too fast for the conditions.

Despite the drop from the top of the bridge into the water below, Conway officials told WMBF News that the driver was able to walk away with minor injuries.

Still, the cleanup process was lengthy after Thursday’s wreck.

Crews arrived around 8 a.m. Friday to start the process. Two cranes were used to pick up and carry away the truck and all of the pieces that broke off during the wreck. At times, both lanes had to be closed while they removed the truck, causing backups on nearly every route heading into Conway from the beach.

DHEC also responded to the scene Friday morning. Crews on the scene told WMBF News they had to use a boat to make sure all the debris was removed. They said they were also working to remove any fuel spilled during the wreck.

As of Friday, there’s a temporary barrier covering the railing damaged by the truck so drivers could safely use the bridge.

WMBF News has asked the South Carolina Department of Transportation when crews are expected to get back on the bridge for a permanent fix but have not heard back yet.

By 1 p.m. Friday, all lanes on Highway 501 we’re open and clear.

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