Driver killed after crashing into tree is identified by Lexington County coroner

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The driver of an SUV was killed after crashing into a tree in Lexington County on Tuesday night, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Rhonda Faye Beaty, 56, of Leesville was identified as the crash victim, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher.

The single-vehicle collision happened at about 6:05 p.m. on Broad Street, said Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell of Highway Patrol. That’s near the intersection with U.S. 1/Augusta Road in the Batesburg-Leesville area.

A 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer was heading east on Broad Street when it ran off the right side of the road and hit a tree near the intersection with Fredonia Street, according to Tidwell.

Beaty died after being taken to a Prisma Health hospital in Richland County, Tidwell said.

Beaty was the only person in the SUV, and was not wearing a seat belt, Fisher said.

No other injuries were reported by Highway Patrol.

Information on what caused the Chevy to veer off the road was not available, but the collision continues to be investigated by the Highway Patrol.

Through Tuesday afternoon, 326 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2021, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Of those, 230 had access to seat belts, but 107 were not wearing them, DPS data shows.

At least 16 people have been killed in Lexington County crashes in 2021, and seat belts were not used in eight of the deaths, DPS reported.