Woman dead after crashing into tree on SC highway 302

By: Stephanie Baker
By: Stephanie Baker

July 3, 2006

A woman is dead after deputies say she chased her husband down South Carolina Highway 302.

36-year-old Virginia Cantara crashed into a tree the evening of Saturday, July 1.

Cantara and her husband Thomas were separated. The accident happened after he picked up their two children for a visit.

Now the families have lost a wife, a daughter, and a mother.

It all started when estranged husband Thomas Cantara picked up the couple's four-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son from Virginia's house.

The Aiken County Sheriff's Office says the family only made it a few miles on the way back to Aiken.

"She chased him down 302 and near Flowing Wells, rammed the back of the Ford Mustang and it overturned," says Lt. Michael Frank.

Thomas Cantara's yellow Mustang veered off and went straight into the woods. The tire tracks show the Saturn went the other way, into oncoming traffic and then off the side into a ditch.

Shelby Widner says her sister in law followed Thomas because she was worried about the kids.

"I think she was scared she was going to lose the baby and that's what made her do the things she did," Widner says. "That's all she wanted. Her daughter. That's it, she wanted her daughter back."

Both families say the couple was not fighting before the incident...and now they're all mourning the loss.

The husband and children are both okay. All three are at his home in Aiken. No word yet on when the memorial service will be, or whether Virginia's family will take her body to Maryland.

In a case like this, officers will reconstruct the wreck.

The Highway Patrol will be back out there Wednesday morning, July 5, and they will map out exactly what happened.

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