The driver of a tractor-trailer was killed early Thursday morning after striking a felled tree on Highway 56 near Clinton.
William Lee Weger, 58, died in the accident and was pronounced dead at the scene by the Laurens County Coroner’s Office. Weger, who was driving a 2019 Freightliner, was a truck driver for Milliken.
According to South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Justin Sutherland, the accident occurred at 4:15 a.m. The driver of the tractor-trailer struck a tree that had fallen across the highway. He ran over the tree and then off the road, striking a guardrail. The victim, who was wearing a seatbelt, was entrapped in the vehicle and succumbed to his injuries at the scene, Sutherland said.
Laurens County Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek said an autopsy was scheduled for Thursday.
The tree toppled as heavy rains and wind gusts moved through Laurens County Wednesday night and Thursday morning. A Laurens home on Highway 76E in Laurens was also damaged due to the storm, according to the American Red Cross, which is assisting the family.
Wind gusts exceeding 20 mph were recorded in Laurens County.