All four of the people involved in last month’s fiery car crash near Williams-Brice Stadium had blood alcohol levels well above the legal limit, the Richland County Coroner’s office said.
The results, released Thursday by Coroner Gary Watts, also showed evidence of marijuana use.
Victims in the early morning accident Jan. 18 and their blood alcohol content levels:
Brian McGrath, 22-year-old driver; 0.157
• Kelsey Harris, 23-year-old backseat passenger; 0.192
• Melinda Pipp, 24-year-old backseat passenger; 0.136
• Billings Fuess IV, 22-year-old front seat passenger; 0.160
A blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is legal evidence of intoxication under S.C. law.
According to Columbia police reports, the four were heading home after a night out in the Vista, when McGrath apparently lost control of his car on a sharp curve along George Rogers Boulevard and slammed into the Farm Bureau Insurance building.
The Dodge Charger was traveling 90 mph when it hit the building, according to police reports.
The car caught fire after the crash, reports said, but McGrath and his passengers were killed upon impact.
Three of the passengers were not wearing seat belts, and police could not determine whether the fourth, a back-seat passenger, had used a seat belt.
McGrath, Fuess and Harris were USC students, and Pipp was a former USC student.
The high blood alcohol content of the driver and speed were major factors in the crash, Watts said.
Staff writer Noelle Phillips contributed.