BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - One person was killed early Thursday morning after a bad accident on Interstate 26 westbound. A portion of the highway has been reopened at mile marker 197 after almost four hours of heavy traffic.
According to the Berkeley County Coroner's Office, a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria was traveling west on I-26 when it ran off the right side of the roadway and struck several trees.
The driver was transported to MUSC and the passenger, 64-year-old Judy Pye Godbee of Hanahan was pronounced dead on the scene by the Berkeley County coroner.
Godbee's death has been ruled accidental. The cause of death is listed as blunt force body trauma.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol officials, the accident happened near the Sheep Island Road exit just after 5:30 a.m. The passenger leaned over to tell the driver something and inadvertently grabbed the steering wheel causing the vehicle to run off the roadway.
Interstate 26 has been reopened. Traffic was slow on the highway from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m.
The passenger was wearing a seatbelt and the victim's name will be released after next of kin notification.
One of the victims was entrapped in the he car. It is unknown if that victim is the one who has died.
The accident is under investigation by the highway patrol and the Berkeley County Coroner's Office.