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3 deaths on county roadways over past 5 days

A deadly week on Laurens County roads claimed three lives over the past five days, including that of a 24-year-old woman from Laurens.

Somila McDowell, 24, died early Saturday morning following a single-car wreck on Old Milton Road in Clinton.

According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, McDowell, of Spring Street in Laurens, was traveling north on Old Milton Road when she crossed the center line, ran off the road and struck a ditch. The SCHP said she was not wearing a seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident due to multiple blunt-force trauma at 3:15 a.m.

McDowell’s death came two days after a hit-and-run incident claimed the life of a pedestrian on S.C. Highway 76. Timothy Smith, 55, was pronounced dead at the scene, and Tevin Fitzgerald Boyd, 25, of Clinton was charged with hit and run in the incident.

On Monday morning, a Greenwood man was killed after a head-on collision on U.S. 25 about 4.5 miles north of Ware Shoals, bringing the total number of deaths on roads in Laurens County this year to 29. That number is more than double the total in the county last year.

“I can’t remember this many or anywhere as many deaths as we’ve worked this year in my 35 years in the coroner’s office,” said Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols.

Laurens County reported 13 traffic fatalities all of 2016 with 18 and 19 in 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Jeffery Allen Morris, 50, of Greenwood, was killed in ahead-on collision near Cleve Knight Road when the 1996 Chevy pickup he was driving collided with a Mazda pickup driven by a Belton man, who had crossed the centerline, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Morris was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:15 a.m., said Nicholls.


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