After dad’s death, family seeks safety measures on local road

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 6:41 PM EDT
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BEECH ISLAND, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Guardrails and slower speed limits. They’re what one family is calling for after the driving death of a local father.

The family of 27-year-old Austin Hollar first reported him missing over the weekend. On Tuesday, searchers found his body and crashed car off the side of Silver Bluff Road in Aiken County. Now family members say they want to see changes made.

We’ve been talking to people who live in the area who say accidents around there are not uncommon. So are there any plans in the works to make it more safe?

We reached out to the South Carolina Department of Transportation to find out if a guardrail could be put in down this curve and what it takes to put one in. They told us they can’t comment on an investigation and they would send out a request to their legal team.

We spoke to the family of Hollar. They say they just want more safety precautions taken out here and for people to remember him for who he truly was.

Hollar was known as a family man, a hard worker, and a loving husband and father.

“I think we’re going to be lost for awhile,” said Amber Jablonski, Hollar’s sister-in-law.

On Sept. 25, Hollar took a different route home from his job at Woodside Golf Course. His car hit a tree and he was ejected and died on the scene.

“I don’t know how it’s going to be without him,” she said.

Two days later, his car was found off the side of the road.

“I kept saying to myself, ‘This isn’t happening.’ When I found out ... it was just heartbreaking. I felt a piece of myself literally break. A part of me was lost,” she said.

The family is looking for ways to make Silver Bluff Road safer like lowering the speed limit and adding guardrails.

“It’s frustrating to hear that there have been multiple crashes in that area and nothings been done and now a death has happened in that area,” she said.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says in the last year 18 crashes have happened on Silver Bluff Road. So far, it’s on track to be the fewest number of crashes in that area since 2019.

“We don’t wish this to happen to anyone else so hopefully this shines a light on what needs to be improved over there and although it’s tragic it could help save other lives,” she said.

As a father, as a husband, and as a person Hollar knew how to love his family and everyone around him.

“To anyone watching ... hold your loved ones close. Don’t ever take any moments for granted. Cherish every moment because you never know when something like this could happen. You never know,” she said.

This video was taken the day before the accident happened. Austin leaves behind his son Knox, who you see in that video, and his wife, Paris.

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