A single-car accident on S.C. Highway 56 south of Clinton claimed the life of a Batesburg man Monday afternoon.
Samuel Luther Smith III, 58, of New Holland Road in Batesville, became the 25th traffic fatality in Laurens County this year. Smith was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident, which occurred just before 4 p.m. about 6.75 miles south of Clinton.
According to S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis, Smith ran off the road, struck a culvert and overturned. He was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the 1993 Ford SUV he was driving. Smith suffered multiple blunt-force trauma, said Laurens County Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek.
The 25 road fatalities that have occurred this year in Laurens County is nearly twice the average of 13 over the past three years.