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LODGE, SC – Three people died Wednesday morning after the passenger van they were in was hit by a tractor trailer truck in South Carolina. The truck collision happened on US Route 601 near Lodge in rural Colleton County. The area of the truck accident is in the south-central section of the state, 70 miles northwest of Charleston, SC, and 74 miles southeast of Augusta, Georgia.

Three of the van passengers suffered fatal injuries and were pronounced dead at the scene.

According to authorities, at around 7:15 a.m. Wednesday morning, 27 year old Bernardo Lopez-Hernandez of Walterboro, SC was driving a 15 passenger van west on SC Highway 641. There were seven passengers in the van with the driver, the passengers identified as migrant workers.

As Lopez-Hernandez reached the intersection of SC Highway 641 and US Route 601 he pulled out onto 601, directly in the path of a southbound tractor trailer truck driven by 47 year old Ricky Mitchell of Ruffin, SC. The truck driver Mitchell was unable to avoid an accident, and crashed into the right side of the passenger van.


After t-boning the van, the 18 wheeler flipped over, spilling its load of wood chips onto the highway. South Carolina Highway Patrol officers and the Colleton County Fire and Rescue team responded to the truck accident scene.

Three of the van passengers suffered fatal injuries in the truck accident and were pronounced dead at the scene. The Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey later identified the victims as 22 year old Paul V. Serrano, 23 year old Esteban A. Rivera, and 59 year old Agustin G. Luna, all of Walterboro.

The van driver, Lopez-Hernandez, and one of the van passengers were transported by ambulance to Colleton Medical Center in Walterboro, 22 miles away.


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The other three van passengers suffered more extensive injuries and were airlifted to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC. Their conditions are listed as critical and they have not been identified.

Mitchell, the driver of the 18 wheeler, suffered a broken leg in the truck accident and was taken by ambulance to Colleton Medical Center.

Crews were brought to the truck accident site to remove the damaged tractor trailer and passenger van. Other workers cleared the truck’s load of wood chips and other debris from the roadway.


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The truck accident was in a rural section of South Carolina and did not have a significant impact on traffic. Traffic was diverted around the accident area until the roadway was cleared.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol has taken the lead in the truck accident investigation, which remains open. At this point no charges or citations have been made.

Related searches:
South Carolina truck accident lawyer
Augusta GA truck accident attorney

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