One dead after pickup smashes into city dump truck on Two Notch Road in Columbia

jmonk@thestate.comSeptember 10, 2013 

— One person is dead after a pickup truck crossed the center line on Two Notch Road and crashed “head-on” with a City of Columbia dump truck Monday, the S.C. Highway Patrol reported.

The collision occurred when the 2001 Chevrolet pickup veered left into the path of an oncoming 2009 Ford dump truck driven by Ernest Harley, 47, Trooper Sgt. Bob Beres said.

Harley, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to Palmetto Health Richland hospital.

The pickup truck driver was killed in the crash. His identity was not immediately available.

Richland County coroner Gary Watts said it’s possible the crash was caused by a “medical event” suffered by the pickup truck driver.

The deceased driver was in his 70s, and at the time of the crash – 3 p.m. – there was no apparent reason for the sudden swerve, Watts said.

Watts said he should be able to release more information, including the identity of the deceased, later today.

City public works director Robert Anderson said Tuesday afternoon that Harley, a 12-year employee in the city’s solid waste division, was treated and released and “is doing fine.” He was on his way to the landfill with a full load of trash when the collision happened.

The trash collection truck Harley was driving “sustained pretty major damage” that is still being assessed, Anderson said.

The solid waste division has about 85 employees and a fleet of about 33 trash trucks which largely collect roadside trash and debris.

The crash took place near the intersection of Two Notch and Raymond Street, which is about a mile west of the major Two Notch-Decker Boulevard intersection.

This is the second crash of a city vehicle since Sunday. On that day, a city police car and a civilian car collided at the intersection of Taylor and Harden streets, across from Benedict College.

Monday’s collision is under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

Reach Monk at (803) 771-8344

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