RICHLAND COUNTY, SC — Two Midlands men, one of them the executive director of the SC Science Academy who planned to head the charter school when it opened at Richland Mall, died after their pickups collided on Interstate 26 on Wednesday night.
S.C. Highway Patrol Sgt. Bob Beres said one pickup was being driven east in the westbound lanes on the highway near Broad River Road when it collided with the other.
The wreck happened around 9:26 p.m. about a quarter mile from Broad River Road. A GMC pickup being driven on the wrong side of the interstate by a 51-year-old Lexington man collided with a westbound Toyota pickup, he said.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the GMC driver as Marcus G. Hicks, of Willow Trail in Irmo. The Toyota driver was Nathan R. Yon, 39, of Harrington Street in Newberry.
Neither man was wearing a seat belt, Beres said.
There were no passengers in either vehicle, patrol Lance Cpl. Brent Kelly said.
Yon, a former school teacher, was executive director and chairman of the board of the SC Science Academy, which is working to open in the former Parisian store at Richland Mall in Forest Acres.
The Science Academys thoughts are with the Yon family, the school said in a press release.
SC Science Academy statement
"It is with great sorrow that The Board of Directors of the South Carolina Science Academy announces the death of our Executive Director and Chairman of the Board Nathan Yon. Mr. Yon was a graduate of Newberry College with a Bachelors of Arts in History and received Masters of Education Degrees from Clemson University in Administration and from Columbia College in Divergent Learning. He was a celebrated and innovative educator at many schools across the state.
"Mr. Yon believed in community involvement to make our world a better place. He has been a member of the Rotary Club, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, Junior Chamber of Commerce and Exchange. He touched many lives in ways we may never know. The Board of the South Carolina Science Academy will make a decision as to the future of the South Carolina Science Academy in the very near future.
"The thoughts and sympathies of the SCSA Community are with the Yon family."