NC man and his two young daughters killed in crash on SC highway, coroner says

Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash Monday, the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported.
Three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash Monday, the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported. South Carolina Highway Patrol

The three people killed Monday in multi-vehicle wreck on a major highway connecting Columbia and Charleston were identified as a family from North Carolina, the Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office said.

Thomas Rusgrove, 37, and his daughters Esther Rusgrove, 14, and Jennie Ruth Rusgrove, 11, were identified as the people who were killed in the crash on Interstate 26, the Coroner’s Office said Wednesday in a news release.

The father and daughters from Todd, North Carolina, all died of blunt force injuries they suffered in the collision, according to the news release.

The crash occurred shortly after 1 p.m. on a section of I-26 in Orangeburg, near Exit 154, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

A 2011 Freightliner tractor-trailer was heading east when it crossed the median and collided “head on” with Rusgrove’s 2008 Toyota van, Lance Cpl. David Jones said.

Three of the four people in the van were killed, while the other was airlifted to a hospital with “serious injuries,” according to Jones.

The fourth person’s identity has not been made public, and no condition updates have been shared.

The driver of the truck was wearing his seat belt but was also injured iand was taken to an area hospital, Jones said.

Information on possible criminal charges was not available.

The wreck shut down both directions of the highway for hours, causing traffic delays, and drivers in westbound lanes had to be rerouted through detours.

The crash remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.