‘He was the glue’: Parents pick up the pieces after crash claims their son’s life

Berkeley County has had a total of 26 fatal crashes since the beginning of the year
Berkeley County has had a total of 26 fatal crashes since the beginning of the year
Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 5:00 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:23 PM EDT

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - We hear about crashes every day, from victims’ names to the images of life-changing accidents. But there is a family that experienced that tragedy in a county that has one of the highest numbers of traffic fatalities in the state.

Feb. 16 is a day the Nassyrov family will never forget. While driving on Clements Ferry Road, they were involved in a car crash. Their 7-year-old son, who was in the car at the time of the crash, Alex Nassyrov, was rushed to the hospital but died a short time later.

Alex’s parents, Dmitri and Tania, say he was one of their three children and the only boy.

“He was the glue, you know,” Tania said. “Even now, when the girls play together it’s not the same. They’re five years apart; they love each other, but he was kind of holding it all.”

From playing with his sisters to being the biggest help in the classroom, Alex was selfless, independent and fearless.

Alex Nassyrov, 7, died after a car crash on Clements Ferry Road.
Alex Nassyrov, 7, died after a car crash on Clements Ferry Road.(Nassyrvo family)

“We still have other people to love,” Dmitri said. “I have my wife and the other two girls that I need to care for, and I need to love, and that’s I guess what keeps me going. I will, you know, from time to time think about all the things that I was looking forward to with Alex, like watching him grow up with his sister. Being my only son...there were a lot of things I was looking forward to that I won’t get to experience.”

Since the beginning of 2023, Charleston County has had a total of 15 traffic fatalities. Dorchester County has a total of three. While Berkeley County has had a total of 26, one of the highest traffic fatalities in the state in only three months. Berkeley County Coroner Darnell Hartwell says he sees crashes regularly in the area.

“There have been numerous cases where I have gotten on the scene, and I can see alcohol, I can see drugs, I have seen where the deceased had his phone in his hands texting while he was driving,” Hartwell says.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says the top three contributing factors for fatal collisions are illegally being in the roadway, improper lane changes and the number one cause: speeding. Some roads in Berkeley County have higher fatalities than others, like Black Tom Road, College Park Road and Clements Ferry Road. And the victims’ ages range from 75 years old to 22 months.

“It’s a severe tragedy, and it’s even more tragic when it’s a child that’s involved,” Hartwell says, “For my office, for the first responders, for law enforcement. We all tend to have a more difficult time working those cases when it’s involving children.”

The Nassyrovs say they live in a tight-knit community, from Alex’s classroom teachers to their neighbors, progress would not have been possible without their support system.

“The world lost a lot,” Tania said. “And he was going places, he was always going places.”

“You know the only thing I can say to the other parents is just love your kids the most every day because you never know,” Dmitri said. “You just never know.”

Hartwell says there is no perfect fix, but stronger enforcement of speeding rules could help slow things down, both figuratively and literally and save more lives.