4 killed, 2 hurt in I-77 crash caused by wrong-way driver in Chester County, authorities say

·3 min read

Four people were killed and two others were hurt in a multi-car crash caused by a wrong-way driver at the Chester County/York County line, the Richburg fire department said.

In a Facebook post, the fire department said the crash happened on Interstate 77 south at 3:15 a.m. Sunday, north of Highway 9. Firefighters said they arrived to find a three-car crash. One of the cars involved had flipped over.

“It completely ran over that vehicle, went over the top of the vehicle and it sheered away all the roof, the doors, everything, and then continued north a little bit further,” Richburg Fire-Rescue Chief T Melton said. “We don’t know if the second car hit the truck, or the guard rail, trying to avoid hitting the truck and flipped.”

Firefighters said that the 32-year-old driver of a truck, who was traveling in the wrong direction, was trapped in his vehicle and seriously hurt. He later died from his injuries, according to Richburg Fire-Rescue.

Authorities said three other people were thrown from another car and died. A fourth person also in that car was severely hurt.

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In total, firefighters said four people were killed and two others were hurt as a result of the crash.

“We really have no idea why he was going the wrong way. He may not have known that he was going the wrong way,” Melton said. “He’s the only one who could answer that.”

The coroner’s office identified the three people thrown from a car as Creshawn Simmons, 29, Daniel Ewing III, 29, and Thomas Grant, 19. The driver of the truck has not been identified at this point.

Grant’s father told Channel 9′s Tina Terry that his son had just graduated from high school last year and had so much life to live. He said Grant was a bright light in everyone’s life.

Multiple agencies responded the scene, including two York County stations, Richburg firefighters said. They thanked York County crews for their help closing I-77 south.

“We can’t thank the crews from Oakdale for the assistance on scene and with the closure of I-77 south,” their Facebook post read.

All lanes on I-77 reopened around 10:45 a.m. Sunday -- about seven hours after the crash.

Firefighters said a wrong-way driver caused the crash. They added that the driver, who has not been identified, was one of the people who died and asked people to be kind.

“We asked that you leave any judgment and harsh words out as this person also passed and they have family that will struggle with a loss as well,” firefighters said. “Our prayers are with all involved!”

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Richburg Fire-Rescue also thanked witness Dwayne Woodcock who grabbed a fire extinguisher out of his tractor-trailer, stopping the fire before first responders arrived.

“Your attempts to assist and your amazing compassion did not go unrecognized!” firefighters said.

Terry spoke with Woodcock Monday, who said he was headed to Columbia when he drove up to the crash scene.

“I saw one brake light and a little plume of smoke,” he said. “I guess the oil started to catch fire. It was like trickling down and I knew if it got worse, if we didn’t put the fire out, it was gonna get worse and probably catch the plastic on fire and then engulf the whole thing.”

After putting out the blaze, Woodcock waited with the driver of the truck until emergency crews arrived.

“I saw that he had a big gash on the back of his head and then I ran back to my truck and got some paper towels and came back and just applied pressure to his wounds,” Woodcock said.

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Authorities are still working to determine the cause of the crash. The coroner’s office said they are still waiting on toxicology results.

Check back for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Two Southbound lanes of I-77 reopened in SC after crash involving tanker truck, deputies say)