Deputies: Woman involved in hit-and-run crash minutes before deadly crash with Katie Arrington

VIDEO: Deputies: Woman involved in hit-and-run crash minutes before deadly crash with Katie Arrington
Updated: Jun. 25, 2018 at 6:47 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County deputies say the 69-year-old woman who died in a wrong-way crash with GOP Congressional candidate Katie Arrington was involved in a hit-and-run collision just before the deadly crash.

Traffic investigators determined that minutes before the fatal crash, Helen White was involved in a hit-and-run crash a few miles south, Charleston County Sheriff's Capt. Roger Antonio said.

Investigators think White struck a vehicle while turning right from Highway 174 onto Highway 17. No injuries were reported in the hit-and-run crash. Antonio said White did not stop for the collision and continued northbound in the southbound lanes of Highway 17.

At approximately 9 p.m., investigators say White's car was still traveling north in the southbound lanes of Highway 17, when she struck a car driven by Jacqueline Goff, a friend of Arrington. Arrington was a passenger in that vehicle. White died in the crash and Arrington and Goff were transported to MUSC with critical injuries.

Deputies were dispatched to the hit and run just before they were notified about the fatal crash further up Highway 17.

On Monday morning, doctors at MUSC provided an update on the condition of Arrington and Goff, calling the fact that neither suffered a traumatic brain injury "a huge win."

Arrington underwent surgery over the weekend after suffering "major abdominal trauma" in the crash. Dr. Edward Erickson, who was the on-call emergency room doctor Friday night, said his team only sees injuries like these five to seven times per year.

Both Arrington and Goff underwent additional spine surgeries on Sunday, but Goff's injuries are expected to take longer to heal. Erickson said she will require multiple more trips to the operating room to address a massive soft tissue injury. Goff also has a broken nose, a broken rib, a colon injury, arterial injuries, a broken neck, as well as a broken foot and ankle.

Arrington was taken off a ventilator Monday morning.

"There are no complications," Dr. Avery Buchholz said. "I expect she's going to do very well from this. She's doing very well today and we expect her to make a full recovery from that standpoint. There are other injuries which make this a little more complicated but from a spine standpoint,t she's going to be just fine."

Arrington defeated First Congressional District Rep. Mark Sanford in the GOP primary election earlier this month, ending his re-election bid. She will face Democrat Joe Cunningham in the November election. On Saturday, Cunningham said he was suspending campaign activities until further notice.

White's son, Samuel, said Saturday he lives four doors down from his mother's home in Ravenel and less than a mile from the crash scene. He said he would miss his mother, describing the last time he spoke to her, which was earlier on the day of the crash.

"She called and said, 'Where you at?' I said, 'I'm in West Ashley. I'll be home in a little bit,'" White said. "She said, 'Baby, I love you,' and that was the last time I talked to her."

White was expected to undergo an autopsy to determine the cause of her death. Deputies say they did not have an indication of the presence of alcoholic beverage in either White's car or Goff's car.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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