South Carolina mayor-elect Steve Benjamin is facing controversy regarding an SC car accident that took place on April 21 in Columbia, South Carolina. During the car crash, a Clarion Hotel waitress, Deborah Rubens, suffered a serious head injury and coma and is looking at a long and painful recovery.

The SC car accident took place just hours after Benjamin snagged a surprise victory in the election. The mayor-elect was driving to an early meeting with officials while Rubens was driving to work. At the time of the crash, Rubens was turning right onto Gervais from Pickens while Benjamin was traveling on Gervais. While Benjamin, who was driving an SUV, was not injured, Rubens, who was driving a compact Toyota, suffered very serious injuries. She was rushed to Palmetto Health Richland, where she remained in a coma for several days. Currently, the woman is talking and attending speech therapy, though she is still not able to walk or eat. In addition, she has memory problems and is often confused – and she does not remember the morning of the crash.

Many believe that the South Carolina car crash investigation should be handed over to State Police, but Columbia Police say that there is no protocol for that to happen and that the Police Chief did not make that decision. There are three witnesses to the accident who are being interrogated, while the mayor-elect’s car black box is also being examined. Some witnesses say that Benjamin’s headlights were not on at the time of the crash. Either way, the public’s opinion of the future mayor has already been affected by this incident.