A fatal crash Friday morning near Swansea was intensely personal for Lexington County ambulance crews.
One of their own — emergency medical technician Carmen Franco Nunez, 42 — was one of the two people killed in the two-vehicle, head-on collision, according to officials. She was heading home from work.
Nunez died shortly after the wreck at 7:20 a.m. on S.C. 6 just east of Swansea. state troopers said.
“It was just heartbreaking,” County Coroner Margaret Fisher said. “It was very, very hard on all first responders there.”
A car driven by Jimmie Lee Haygood Jr., 29, crossed the center line and collided with Nunez’ SUV, according to officials. Both drivers wore seat belts, troopers said.
Haygood was an Orangeburg resident while Nunez lived in Cordova, an Orangeburg County town, officials said.
Nunez, a county EMT for 10 years, was “known for her hard work and dedication,” county spokesman Harrison Cahill said.
“It’s been a tough day around here,” County Administrator Joe Mergo said.
The death is the latest tragedy this spring involving county public safety officials or their families. An information technology staff member for the Sheriff’s Department was killed at her home in March while a relative of another civilian employee was slain at his home in May.
“Public safety in Lexington County is a tight-knit family,” Sheriff Jay Koon said. “Unfortunately, we have recently been in that position and understand how hard it is to to lose one of your own. We all mourn the loss of Ms. Nunez and will wrap our arms around each other to get through it.”