Coroner identifies Midlands man killed after car crashes down Richland Co. embankment

One person was killed Thursday morning when a car plunged down an embankment in Richland County, South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

The deadly crash happened around 6 a.m. on U.S. 601 near Governor Heyward Road in Eastover, according to Trooper 1st Class Tyler Tidwell of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The driver was identified as Leroy James Abrams, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release.

Abrams was driving a Chevrolet Cobalt south on U.S. 601 when the car went off the right side of the road, Tidwell said. Abrams over-corrected, sending the car off the left side of the road and down an embankment, where it hit several trees and overturned, Tidwell reported.

The 30-year-old Sumter resident was not wearing a seat belt and died at the scene, according to Watts. An autopsy showed Abrams’ cause of death was from blunt force trauma to the torso suffered in the wreck, the coroner’s office said.

Because of the crash, traffic was shutdown at U.S. 601 and Governor Heyward Road for three hours during driver’s morning commute, the Columbia Fire Department tweeted.

The crash remains under investigation by the coroner and highway patrol.

Prior to Thursday’s deadly crash, there had been 21 traffic deaths in Richland County this year, according to numbers released earlier this week by the S.C. Department of Public Safety. There were 25 traffic deaths in the county at the same time last year.

Teddy Kulmala covers breaking news for The State and covered crime and courts for seven years in Columbia, Rock Hill, Aiken and Lumberton, N.C. He graduated from Clemson University and grew up in Barnwell County.