Crash survivor seeks changes on Black Tom Road

Black Tom Road in Berkeley County is a hotspot for crashes, and one survivor is still dealing with injuries months later.
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 3:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2023 at 9:09 PM EDT
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BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Black Tom Road in Berkeley County is a hotspot for crashes, and one survivor is still dealing with injuries months later.

Laura Boris of Summerville was traveling north on the Black Tom Road Extension on her way to pick up her daughter from school when an oncoming car crashed into her. The car had its turn signal on but decided to keep going and crashed into her car, Trooper Nick Pye with South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

The accident happened just weeks before Boris’ daughter’s 18th birthday and high school graduation and because of her severe injuries, it didn’t go as planned.

“Every mom’s dream is to throw their daughter the most elaborate 18th birthday and graduation and everything and this just took everything away,” Boris said.

Boris was left with severe head trauma, a broken left foot and bruises all over her body. She says she even suffers from panic attacks about the accident.

“As horrible as it is, it was only two weeks later after my accident that happened that had two fatalities,” Boris said. “And it just so happens that it was my daughter’s best friend’s father. So, it does hit.”

She says she hopes the other driver is ok.

“You don’t really think about it too much,” Boris said. “Some people don’t. You know, their first concern is, ‘My gosh, what happened to me?’ But some actually think about the other individual because it doesn’t matter whose fault it was in the long run. The fact of the matter is were they able to make it out safe?”

Boris thinks adding more signs, a traffic light, a roundabout or even going as far as making it a two-lane road would help traffic in the area.

“And I’m really hoping that me being able to come forward, maybe others would come forward as well and say, ‘Listen, we need to make a change here,’” Boris said. “‘We need to do something. We need to get more involved as a community.’ And let them know, ‘Hey, these intersections are unsafe.’”

Berkeley County officials provided the following statement on the matter:

This intersection is included on the current (2022) referendum and has been tagged by County staff as a high priority due to growth in the area and safety concerns. We will work with DOT and one of our on-call consultants to begin the project by data gathering and evaluation to study design alternatives.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation referenced the same statement they provided in March regarding the Berkeley County Road, saying:

This intersection was included in the recently passed Berkeley County Sales Tax Referendum. At this point, the intersection is not configured for a traffic signal, so any SCDOT review would be of the signage and pavement markings. Those items have been recently addressed. The County does not have to wait on SCDOT to initiate their funding of a sales tax project to reconfigure the intersection. If that project does move forward, we would review and approve the design as a part of the usual process.

“It needs to be now,” Boris said. “It can’t be another year, another two years. It needs to be now.”