Facility to add gates at main entrances after hit and run, Live 5 investigation

Changes are coming to a state-run facility after one of its residents was able to escape, and then was hit by a car.
Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 5:23 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 20, 2023 at 8:31 PM EST
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Changes are coming to a state-run facility after one of its residents was able to escape and was then struck by a car.

Documents show that the Coastal Regional Center approved a $49,950 purchase to build gates at its two front entrances off of Miles Jamison Road.

“I think with the traffic alone and the type of people that are housed at the Coastal Center... and this road began to pick up traffic like it did, gates should have been put in,” mother Margaret Treadwell said.

Mary Williams, a 42-year-old with disabilities had escaped from the facility late one evening in October.

A Live 5 Investigation last month revealed she wasn’t the only one.

“I was shocked, and I was upset. I actually knew the young lady that got hit and it was personal and quite heartbreaking and saddening for me,” Treadwell said.

Treadwell reached out to Live 5 News after hearing the story. Her 31-year-old daughter, who has non-verbal autism, was also able to escape previously.

“If someone like her gets out. She can’t go somewhere and ask for help to get back. It’s up to, unfortunately, society or whoever finds her to bring her back,” Treadwell said.

READ MORE: Vulnerable adult injured in hit-and-run after escape from state-run facility

Department of Disabilities and Special Needs spokesman P.J. Perea says the gate project was undergoing planning for procurement starting in July 2022 after a need was identified based on “increased traffic, poor lighting at night, and lack of sidewalks on Miles Jamison road.”

Documents obtained from the department show a request for purchase was submitted on Dec. 15, less than a week after the Live 5 News story aired.

It had also been two months since Williams was hospitalized following the hit-and-run.

Treadwell says the road has always been busy since her daughter has lived there.

It is unclear when construction will begin.

Williams’ cousin, Nicole Nick, was happy to hear the news. But concerns still remain about staffing shortages and the cleanliness of the facilities, among others.