York husband in Rock Hill crash dies after wife; Teen driver now faces 2 homicides

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Andrew Dys
·2 min read
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A Rock Hill teen driver is charged with a second homicide from a weekend crash after a husband and wife both have died, officials said.

Donald Hewetson, 61, of York, died late Monday at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte after the crash Saturday night, said York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.

Hewetson’s wife, Teresa Hewetson, 56, died over the weekend at the same hospital after the crash, Rock Hill Police Department Lt. Michael Chavis said.

Justin Valdez of Rock Hill was charged Monday in the death of Teresa Hewetson.

Rock Hill police issued a second warrant for Valdez, 19, Tuesday charging him with reckless homicide in Donald Hewtson’s death, Chavis said. Valdez had been released from jail on a $50,000 bond late Monday after being arrested on the first reckless homicide charge.

Valdez was driving an Infiniti sedan Saturday night around 8:30 p.m. Chavis said the car crossed the center line of Celanese Road into oncoming traffic and crashed into a Chevrolet SUV driven by Teresa Hewetson. Donald Hewetson was a passenger, police said.

Four other people were injured in the crash, including a teen passenger in Valdez’s car and three people in a third vehicle, police said.

Valdez’s lawyer, Montrio Belton of Rock Hill, said Tuesday morning he and Valdez know of the second fatality and the second charge against Valdez.

“Mr. Valdez is aware of the second warrant for his arrest and has every intention of turning himself in to law enforcement,” Belton said. “Mr. Valdez has trust in our judicial system, and believes that the truth of this horrific accident and unimaginable tragedy will be known in due time. Mr. Valdez sends his condolences to the family.”

Belton did not discuss the crash.

According to Belton and court records, Valdez has no previous criminal record.

Matthew Shelton, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor, confirmed Valdez is charged with a second charge of reckless homicide but declined to discuss the case.

Reckless homicide is a felony in SC

Reckless homicide is defined by South Carolina law as “when the death of a person ensues within three years as a proximate result of injury received by the driving of a vehicle in reckless disregard of the safety of others.”

Reckless homicide is a felony under South Carolina law and carries a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years for a conviction. Valdez now faces as much as 20 years in prison if convicted of both charges.

The homicide case is the fifth in Rock Hill in 2021, according to Rock Hill police statistics.

Check back for updates on this developing story.