Crime & Courts

High school student dies on way to watch USC-Clemson game, another is hurt, SC coroner says

Monroe, NC, police are trying to determine why a 13-year-old middle school student was on railroad tracks and didn’t get out of the way in time before a train hit and killed him.
Monroe, NC, police are trying to determine why a 13-year-old middle school student was on railroad tracks and didn’t get out of the way in time before a train hit and killed him. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Two teenagers on their way to watch the college football game between the University of South Carolina and Clemson Saturday night were involved in a deadly crash, according to the coroner’s office.

The 17-year-old driver was killed in the single-vehicle collision, and his passenger was injured and taken to an area hospital, according to Lance Cpl. Justin Southerland of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Anderson County Deputy Coroner Don McCown said that Dillion Cole Padgett had picked up a friend and they were on their way to another residence to watch the rivalry game when they were in the deadly crash, WSPA reported.

Southerland said the wreck occurred just after 9 p.m., about 3 miles outside of Pendleton. Padgett was a junior at Pendleton High School, where he was a member of the JROTC program, according to WYFF.

Padgett was driving a 2015 Mitsubishi SUV when the vehicle ran off the left side of the road, Southerland said. The SUV hit a ditch, overturned then struck a tree, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The 17-year-old was wearing his seat belt, but was entrapped in the vehicle and died at the scene, according to Southerland.

The passenger was also wearing a seat belt, Southerland said. The coroner said the passenger suffered severe injuries, but they were not considered life threatening, WYFF reported.

The coroner said speed was a factor in the crash, but there was no evidence of drugs or alcohol, per WSPA.

The deadly wreck remains under investigation by the S.C. 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.

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