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Hit and run accident kills one and injures another

A 72-year-old motorist from Greenwood was killed and another 60-year-old Saluda driver suffered serious injuries in a three-car crash on Feb. 7. Police blame that accident on a hit and run driver who made unsafe lane changes. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is continuing its accident investigation.

According to the SCHP, the accident took place around 9:30 p.m. on S.C. 121 north of Saluda. The 72-year-old victim was driving a 2010 Toyota sedan that was traveling south that Friday. The suspect's car, a 2007-09 white Chevrolet extended cab pickup truck, was also heading south and tried to pass this victim's car and several other vehicles. While attempting to pass these vehicles, the suspect reportedly forced the 60-year-old's Chrysler Sebring to veer left and crash into the Toyota. The SCHP said that the white truck did not stop at the crash and continued driving south on 121.

The Toyota's driver was entrapped in his car after the auto accident. After he was removed from his car, he was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland hospital where he died from chest trauma around 10:25 p.m. that night. The other victim was also transported to Palmetto Health where his condition was listed as critical.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration considers improper lane changes and unsafe passing as aggressive driving that is both unsafe and illegal. Aggressive driving, according to the NHTSA, causes a substantial number of the approximately 6.8 million crashes that have occurred each year in the United States.

Victims of these accidents caused by an aggressive or reckless driver may be entitled to compensation for medical treatment, lost wages and other losses that they suffer. In addition, family members may be able to file a wrongful death action when a relative is killed in a car crash. Victims and their families should seek prompt advice to assure that filing deadlines are met and their legal rights are protected.

Source: Greenwood Index Journal, "Greenwood man dies; Saluda man critical after Friday night wreck," Feb. 8, 2014

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