Family of Wando student killed in 2019 crash settles wrongful death lawsuit for $3.1 Million

Libby Daniel and Keith Schemm were killed in a crash on April 7, 2019.
Libby Daniel and Keith Schemm were killed in a crash on April 7, 2019.(The Citadel)
Updated: Dec. 15, 2020 at 12:55 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The parents of a Wando High School student will receive a multi-millon dollar settlement after a post-prom car crash killed their daughter.

Elizabeth Daniel was killed in an April 2019 crash on Rifle Range Road in Mount Pleasant along with Citadel cadet Keith Schemm.

Daniel’s family has settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the cadet’s estate, his mother and three other adults for $3.1 million.

In the February lawsuit, Daniel’s parents sued Schemm’s estate, his mother, and three other adults who allegedly had a role in post-prom party where the lawsuit states Daniel and Shemm drank alcohol before the deadly crash.

The accident occurred shortly before 2:30 a.m. on April 7, 2019 in the 2600 block of Rifle Range Road near Hamlin Road.

Crews arrived on scene to find a 2005 Ford Escape that crashed into a tree on the side of the road at Rifle Range Road. Both Schemm, 19, and Daniel, 18, were pronounced dead at the scene.

Schemm’s mother, Martha Jones, drove her son to Daniel’s house for prom pictures Saturday night because he had already been drinking that afternoon, according to the lawsuit.

After prom, Schemm and Daniel went to the house of Paula Lewis in Mount Pleasant. Lewis’ son was dating the daughter of Raymond and Nandy Short, the suit stated. Raymond and Nancy Short provided alcohol for the party which Lewis consented to, according to the lawsuit.

Both Schemm and Daniel drank at the party and others in attendance noticed both appeared drunk before leaving the party around 1 a.m. on April 7, the lawsuit stated.

According to the crash report, Schemm was driving 70 mph in a 40 mph zone when he hit a right curb, then a sidewalk and swerved left before crossing the center line and overcorrecting.

The lawsuit claims Lewis failed to prevent Daniel and Schemm from leaving her house while drunk and states Schemm’s mother knew her son had a tendency to drink and drive.

The lawsuit states an autopsy report showed that Schemm’s blood alcohol content was .235%, almost three times the legal limit.

The Daniels will receive $6,452.68 for funeral expenses, $1,201,666.66 for attorney’s fees, $7,496.15 for court fees, $5,000.00 for settlement of the survivor action and $1,879,384.51 for wrongful death, the suit states. This totals to $3.1 million and will be divided between the Schemm team.

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