Hundreds of crashes on SC highways during winter storm but nobody died, officials say

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As snow and ice continues to melt away from last week’s powerful winter storm, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety released information about how the state’s highways were affected the severe weather.

During the second winter storm to hit the Palmetto State in less than a week, both South Carolina Highway Patrol and State Transport Police responded to 1,095 calls for service, according to the Department of Public Safety. Those calls came in over a 29-hour period, from 5 a.m. Jan. 21 until 10 a.m. the following day.

In spite of the overwhelming number of incidents on the highways, no fatal crashes were caused by the winter storm, the Department of Public Safety said.

South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to more than 1,000 calls for service during the recent winter storm.
South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to more than 1,000 calls for service during the recent winter storm.

Preliminary reports show two people were killed in collisions on South Carolina roads from Jan. 21-23, according to the Department of Public Safety. Both deaths occurred after the snow and freezing rain had stopped falling.

Both deaths involved pedestrians. The first fatal collision happened Jan. 22 at about 10:40 p.m. in Charleston County, and the second was in Orangeburg County at about 9:11 p.m. on Jan. 23, the Department of Public Safety said.

Carlos Dunlap Sr., the father of NFL player and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Carlos Dunlap, was the pedestrian who died in Charleston County, WCSC reported.

The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office is expected to publicly identify the pedestrian involved in the second deadly collision after notifying the next of kin.

Through Monday morning, 43 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2022, including four pedestrians, state Department of Public Safety data shows. In 2021, 183 pedestrians were among the 1,121 people who had died on South Carolina roads, DPS said.

South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to more than 1,000 calls for service during the recent winter storm.
South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to more than 1,000 calls for service during the recent winter storm.

While there were no fatal collisions on highways during the storm, nearly 500 crashes were reported by the Department of Public Safety.

Information on the number of people hurt in crashes, or their conditions, was not available.

In addition to the 479 collisions that were investigated by Highway Patrol and State Transport Police, 346 motorists received assistance, according to the Department of Public Safety.

There were four trees downed in South Carolina roads, and 115 abandoned vehicles, Department of Public Safety data shows.

The National Weather Service reported 2 inches of snowfall was recorded at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, making it the first time any measurable amount has fallen on Columbia since 2017.

Columbia hasn’t had more than inch of snow since 2014.

Prior to the storm, the National Weather Service said travel conditions would be hazardous on bridges, overpasses, and untreated roads, and drivers needed to plan for slippery road conditions.

Stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary once the storm begins,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said in a news release after declaring a state of emergency on Jan. 19.

By the numbers

Statistical highlights on South Carolina highways from the weekend

Fatalities: 0

Collisions investigated: 479

Motorists assisted: 346

Tree in the roadway: 4

Abandoned vehicles: 115

SOURCE: South Carolina Department of Public Safety

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