SCDOT workers honored after deadly hit and run

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Tuesday, March 13, 2018
News 12 at 11

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Today in Beech Island, South Carolina DOT dedicates a building to two of its workers hit and killed in Aiken County a year ago.

A sign was also dedicated to both Tony Remond and Bob Clark.
DOT officials say they are also working on other safety plans to keep more workers safe such as upgraded vests, more police presence, and getting more lights out on working zones.

Today in Beech Island, South Carolina DOT dedicates a building to two of its workers hit and killed in Aiken County a year ago.

Friday, Feb. 16, 2018

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison on reckless homicide charges in the death of two SCDOT workers.

According to the South Carolina court system, Lonnie Dean Miller pled guilty to two counts of reckless homicide and two counts of hit and run causing death. He was also sentenced on one count of hit and run causing injury for a DOT worker who survived.

The incident happened nearly a year ago on Augusta Road near Storm Branch Road. Anthony J. Redmond, 54, of Warrenville and Robert Clark, 64, of Aiken were pronounced dead at the scene, a third DOT worker received minor injuries.

Friday, June 26, 2017

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- South Carolina Highway Patrol has charged a man with two counts of reckless homicide in the deaths of two SCDOT workers in March.

In court back in March, South Carolina Highway Patrol said they believed Lonnie Dean Miller tried to cover his tracks. Miller is also facing charges of hit and run involving a death.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Former South Carolina DOT worker Curtis Corley has seen plenty of close calls

"One lady actually crashed through the cones and crashed into the construction sign," said Corley.

The close calls didn't stop after leaving the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation in 1996.

"Working as a mechanic, having to go out 2,3,4 o clock in the morning cars and stuff that ride right past you, I've had them brush me. Actually touch the skin," said Corley.

It was only a close call for one SCDOT worker on the side of the road in Aiken who had to call 9-1-1 after deputies say Lonnie Miller hit two other DOT workers killing them and driving off.

At Mr. Millers bond hearing Tuesday investigators told the judge he tried to cover his tracks.

"He took the time to cover the vehicle. He took the time to hide it.," said a SCHP spokesperson in court Tuesday.

South Carolina Highway Patrol is not the only group investigating this incident. OSHA was at the scene today, surveying where the hit and run happened to see if any OSHA violations contributed to the crash. Which is standard anytime there is a work place fatality.
That investigation will take up to 8 weeks.

"My mind cannot process that this has happened," said Corley.

It's hard to process because years ago Mr.Corley worked alongside two of the men Mr. Miller hit.

"Devastated. Extremely devastated. Both of them were very great people," said Corley.

SCDOT workers are state employees.

If they're killed on the job they would get some workers compensation and whatever benefits they selected through Public Employee Benefits or PEBA. The only time they wouldn't is if they died due to a medical condition, like a heart attack.

SCDOT is also providing chaplains and counseling for workers and their families.

News 12 First at Five / March 14, 2017

CLEARWATER, SC. (WRDW/WAGT) -- New information about what unfolded at a hit and run accident that left two SCDOT workers dead.

In court earlier today, South Carolina Highway Patrol said they believe Lonnie Dean Miller tried to cover his tracks. The investigator said when his crews found that tan Pontiac Grand Prix, Miller had covered it. They didn't say how and they didn't say with what they believed he covered it with. But they said the point was that he tried to cover up what had just happened.

South Carolina Highway Patrol also brought up Miller's prior arrests and convictions as a reason to deny bond. They said he was on probation in Georgia at the time.

Miller's attorney said his mother, father-in-law, and children were there when he turned himself in yesterday to police. His attorney says he would not have done that if he were a flight risk, but the judge denied bond.

"I guess I never thought about how dangerous it was because it never hit home until yesterday," said Carla Rentschler, friend of Robert Clark.

By almost every county, Carla Rentschler feels like it's a loss of her own. It's only been a day since two DOT workers were killed by a hit and run driver.

"It could've been my brother. It could've been my husband. It could've been my son, my nephew," said Rentschler.

All of them work or used to work for DOT, and almost all of them knew 54-year-old Anthony Redmond and 64-year-old Robert Clark.

"It's just sad. I can't imagine what Tony and Tony's wife and Robert's wife are going through," explained Rentschler, "It's unreal. I mean, she lost her best friend, her soulmate."

The two biggest pieces of the investigation the tan Pontiac Grand Prix, and the man investigators say was behind the wheel, both found yesterday. Investigators reconstructed the scene and collected evidence. They are also waiting to process the vehicle. From there, they can try to figure out what led up to the accident.

"They didn't even have a chance to put the cones out or even start their day when this guy just plows them down," said Rentschler.

Investigators say that man is Lonnie Dean Miller who stood in front of a judge and was denied bond.

"I couldn't believe it I mean these are two guys that are just hard workers, just hard hard workers," said Rentschler.