HAMPTON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – State health officials were called to the scene of a deadly tractor-trailer crash on I-95 early Wednesday morning after diesel fuel spilled into a nearby swamp.
The high-speed crash happened at the Colleton/Hampton county line near mile marker 40 just after 1:30 a.m.
According to Colleton County Fire Rescue, a tractor-trailer appeared to have struck a median side guardrail at the Combahee River Bridge.
The truck “crossed to the right side and rode the guardrail on the bridge until it ended,” said fire rescue officials. “The truck went down an embankment into the swamp, overturned and struck several large trees causing massive damage to the semi-truck.”
The impact caused a load of wine to be ejected through the front of the trailer, scattering around the crash site. Officials say the cab of the truck was stopped by trees and totally separated from the chassis, trapping the driver inside.
A heavy-duty wrecker was called in to pull the truck out of the trees. The driver was extricated from the back and turned over to the Hampton County Coroner’s Office.
Crews searches for other victims, but the driver was the only person found in the truck.
Officials say the diesel tanks ruptured, causing fuel to spill into the swamp. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was called to assist in the clean-up.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.