An early morning head-on collision in Lexington County, South Carolina (SC), left an innocent woman dead and a man facing a felony charge for causing a death while driving under the influence of alcohol. The deadly DUI wreck happened at 4:40 am on February 5, 2016, near the intersection of U.S. 321 Northbound and Wilbur Road, just outside the town of Gaston.
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Police determined that the at-fault driver had been traveling on the wrong side of the highway for some distance before hitting the deceased woman’s car. The four-lane highway is divided by a grass median, so the man taken into custody would have either had to enter the highway going the wrong way or driven across the median and then not corrected his error.
The speed at which the fatal head-on occurred was not reported, but chances are good that one or both vehicles were going at least the posted speed limit of 55 mph. A crash at that speed has a high likelihood of inflicting severe injuries. Add that risk factor to the dangers of both driving while intoxicated and heading into oncoming traffic, and it is distressingly easy to recognize that a crash ending in death was sadly predictable.
Road design, barriers and traffic signs can only do so much to keep drivers and their cars on the right side of the road. People themselves have the responsibility to use on ramps correctly, avoid crossing lane markers and obey warning like “Do Not Enter.” Getting drunk before getting behind the wheel impairs one’s abilities to do each of those things. This tragedy in Upstate South Carolina proves that reality by the worst means possible.