Samoan man dies in north Columbia wreck

A Samoan man died early Saturday morning in Richland County when his vehicle ran into a ditch off Monticello Road near Columbia International University in north Columbia.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts identified the man as 29-year-old Ioritana Ofisa of Samoa.

Lance Corporal Josef Robinson said Ofisa was traveling away from the university on International Boulevard around 2:50 a.m. Saturday when his 2001 GMC Sierra went through the stop sign at Monticello Road and ran into a ditch on the other side of the highway. He died at the scene.

Robinson said it was not immediately known if Ofisa was a student at CIU or what, if any role, the weekend’s snow played in the accident. Ofisa was not wearing a seat beat, and the highway patrol is awaiting toxicology reports.

- Bertram Rantin