Two people, one male and one female, were killed Thursday night when an SUV careened off the Blossom Street bridge and plunged into the chilly Congaree River.
Columbia Fire Department spokesman Brick Lewis said units were dispatched to the scene shortly after 9:45 p.m., with the first calls of a vehicle leaving the bridge and entering the water. The vehicle, an SUV, was traveling west toward Cayce when it left the roadway and crashed through a guardrail.
Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said a female victim was rescued while the vehicle was still in the water and transported to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The male victim was pronounced dead after the SUV was pulled out of the river about four hours after the crash, Watts said.
Watts said the victims would not be identified until after families were notified. He said he hoped families would be able to help authorities ensure that there weren’t other passengers in the vehicle.
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CFD led a multi-agency rescue and recovery effort that included the Columbia Police Department, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the Cayce Department of Public Safety and the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.