A Midlands man was killed and two firefighters were injured overnight in a head-on crash involving a fire engine, the Lexington County Coroner’s Office said.
Christopher Lykes Sr., died Wednesday, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher. The 71-year-old Swansea resident died at the scene, Fisher said.
The two-vehicle collision happened at about 6:10 p.m. at the intersection of St. Matthews Road and Pine Tower Circle, according to Lexington County spokeswoman Jessica Imbimbo. That’s in Swansea, about a mile from Swansea High School.
Lexington County Fire Service Engine 316 was heading back to the station following a non-emergency situation, Imbimbo said.
The fire truck was heading north on St. Matthews Road when the vehicle Lykes was driving in the opposite direction crossed the center line, resulting in the collision, according to Fisher.
Lykes was not wearing a seat belt, Fisher said. He was the only person in his vehicle, according to Imbimbo.
Two firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries, Imbimbo said. Further information on their conditions was not available.
There was no word if the firefighters wore seat belts.
No other injuries were reported.
Information about what caused Lykes’ vehicle to veer into oncoming traffic was not available, but the collision is being investigated by South Carolina Highway Patrol.
Through Wednesday afternoon, 1,002 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2021, state Department of Public Safety data shows. Of those, 669 of the victims had access to seat belts, but 326 were not wearing them, DPS reported.
At least 42 people have been killed in Lexington County crashes in 2021, and 25 of them were not wearing seat belts, DPS reported.