College of Charleston freshman from VA killed in accident

The (Sumter) ItemSeptember 7, 2013 

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What started for five friends as a fun ride to a college football game ended early Friday afternoon with the death of a College of Charleston student and the arrest of another.

Franklin Barker West, 18, of Alexandria, Va., died from blunt-force trauma and internal bleeding from injuries suffered in a vehicle wreck about 3:15 p.m. Friday. West was a passenger in Henry Sims Farr's 2001 Land Rover SUV, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Elder. Farr was driving northbound on Interstate 95 when he ran off the left side of the highway at the 106 mile marker, struck a tree and overturned.

"(West) had multiple injuries, including broken limbs and internal bleeding," said Clarendon County Deputy Coroner Charles Jackson. "He was pronounced dead at the scene."

One of Farr's passengers was transported to Clarendon Memorial Hospital, while two others were airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia.

"I do not know their statuses at this time," Jackson said late Saturday afternoon.

Elder said Farr is being charged with felony driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. West, a son of Celeste West of Florida and Frank West of Virginia, had just started classes at the College of Charleston, Jackson said.

"They were on their way to a football game, but I don't know where," Jackson said. "I believe College of Charleston was playing a team out of Virginia, though."

No information was available late Saturday on Farr's blood-alcohol content or possible bond. He is being held at the Clarendon County Detention Center, according to Elder.

It was the second time in four days that a college student was charged with felony driving under the influence.

According to the Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, 21-year-old Sean Aston, a senior at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, was charged with two counts of felony DUI and one count of second-offense driving under suspension on Monday. Senior Trooper Bridget Wyatt said Aston was traveling north on S.C. 21 in Branchville about 7 p.m. Monday when his 2008 Saturn crossed the center line near Wire Road, striking two BMW motorcycles head on.

Orangeburg County Coroner Samuetta Marshal said Francis Wright Smith Jr., 43, of Orangeburg and Mary Catherine Green, 50, of Columbia, both died from blunt-force trauma.

Farr and Aston face up to 25 years in prison and a mandatory fine between $10,100 and $25,100 if they are convicted. Driver's licenses are also suspended for three years after the term of imprisonment.

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