SC Gov. Nikki Haley unhurt in previously undisclosed June wreck

ashain@thestate.comAugust 27, 2013 

S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was not injured when riding in a state-issued SUV that was in an one-vehicle accident in North Carolina in June, the State Law Enforcement Division said Tuesday.

Haley’s name was listed on a N.C. State Highway Patrol report – along with two campaign aides and the driver, who was a SLED agent – as being in the vehicle.

SLED did not report the accident when it happened because it was minor, agency Chief Mark Keel said Tuesday.

“No one is trying to hide anything,” Keel said. “We have agents who have accidents all the time it. It would be one thing if it were an accident where someone had gone to the hospital.

“From you all’s perspective, the governor is there. I understand that. It was a minor accident,” Keel continued. “Honestly, it’s folks trying to make something out of nothing.”

Haley, her political adviser Tim Pearson and political fundraiser Marissa Crawford were riding in a state-issued Chevrolet Suburban driven by SLED agent Kenneth Williamson to a political event at the Grandover Resort in Greensboro on June 27, according to an incident report from the N.C. State Highway Patrol.

The SUV, traveling at 10 mph, struck a metal pole at 6:30 p.m., the report said. The pole was in the street, and Williamson did not see it in time to react, Keel said. No injuries were reported.

“Inattention” was the reason for the crash, the report said. Williamson was not tested for alcohol or drugs. The left front corner and underside of the vehicle were damaged, the report said.

Keel said Williamson was not cited by N.C. authorities. A N.C. State Highway Patrol car that had been escorting the SUV took Haley to the event at the resort and drove her back to the airport for the flight back to South Carolina, Keel said.

The Suburban has been repaired, he said.

News of the wreck was first reported by Fitsnews.com.

Haley was visiting Greensboro to attend a retreat for a political group run by backers of Republican N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory. She did not fly on a state plane, according to S.C. Aeronautics Commission records.

Haley raised $36,500 from N.C.-based donors on June 27 and 28, according to S.C. Ethics Commission filings.

Haley’s office said SLED is required to provide security in transporting the governor.

“The governor was not an announced candidate (she announced her re-election bid Monday) nor was this a campaign event,” Haley spokesman Doug Mayer said. “Since there were no additional costs, no reimbursement is required.”

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