Aiken County driving fatalities on the rise

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, Oct. 15, 2007

AIKEN CTY, S.C.---The number of traffic deaths continue to climb near record numbers in Aiken County. Just this past weekend, 2 more people died, one of them on I-20 near the state line.

Just across the highway on the westbound side of I-20 the site of another fatal accident in Aiken County. This one happened on Saturday night (October 13) and it looks like speed is to blame.

Cybil Temple knows about fatal wrecks all too well. Her dad was killed because someone was speeding when they hit her bad as he was backing out of his driveway.

"I lost my dad at a young age - makes you feel bad," says says.

Cybil is not alone. Aiken County is approaching record numbers. Through October 14th, the county coroner has been 36 fatalities. That's up from 31 fatalities in all of 2006. The record: 50 in 1998.

On Saturday evening, another fatal statistic. 38 year old Ammie Sedlock crossed 2 lanes of traffic before flipping her car on I-20. Speed is considered a factor.

"We drive the speed limit and people are passing us all the time," says Cybil.

Sedlock is 1 of 21 deaths in the county where a seatbelt was not worn.

"It's always -- you know -- heartbreaking," says Cybil.

We put speed to the test. Riding along with a North Augusta Public Safety Officer, we clocked drivers over a 10 minute span on Georgia Avenue going as fast as 51 miles per hour. The speed limit on the road is 40. The most common speed on Monday: 45 to 50.

Take a look at this. No traffic deaths on I-20 in 2006 in Aiken County. But through May of this year, there were already 7 deaths.

22 year old Brandon Mosley of North Augusta is the latest to lose his life. He is Aiken County's 36th fatality. He was riding in a SUV that flipped several times and hit a utility poll on Sudlow Lake Road. Another issue with drivers... is tailgating.

"They don't leave enough room to make a decision of where they are supposed to go," says James Weixler.

Simple showing down and not using cell phones is what Irene wants to see on the road.

"Lots of times people talking on their cell phones and they may drop it and reach down to pick it up and they take their eyes off of the road," says Irene.


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