On July 25, the South Carolina Highway Patrol was alerted to a morning accident in which a 55-year-old West Columbia man died. He was driving a tractor-trailer eastbound on Interstate 26 near mile marker 159 near Bowman when his tractor-trailer went off the roadway, stopping near a wooded area.
Orangeburg County fire and rescue services responded to the scene of the accident. According to the Orangeburg County chief deputy coroner, the driver of the tractor-trailer was pronounced dead at the scene from blunt force head trauma. He further stated that the man was wearing his seat belt, but also that he had been trapped in the truck.
In addition to the fire and rescue personnel who were helping direct traffic around the accident scene, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control responded as a precaution since the tractor-trailer was transporting paint thinner and paint when it overturned, according to an SCHP trooper. Only one lane of I-26 eastbound was open all afternoon and into the evening, bringing traffic to a crawl until the lanes reopened just before 7 p.m.
According to the SCHP, another vehicle, an SUV, was involved in the accident, but how is still unknown. Emergency Medical Services transported the SUV driver, a 67-year-old Riverview, Florida, man, to a local hospital. The accident is still under investigation.
When a commercial driver dies in an accident while on the job, his or her family is typically eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits. However, such benefits may not cover all of their accident-related expenses. If a third party, such as a negligent driver, caused the accident, the family may consider filing a wrongful death claim in addition to the workers’ compensation insurance claim in order to make up the difference.
Source: The Times and Democrat, “I-26 traffic moving again following fatal crash“, Martha Rose Brown, July 25, 2014