Crime & Courts

Four victims of fatal Lexington crash identified

A 16-year old and his grandparents were among four people killed in a four vehicle crash on US 378 in Lexington Fridaynight.



Three of the dead were in a Red Ford Sport Trac, which caught fire after colliding with a black Chevrolet pickup truck that crossed the center line and hit another vehicle first, according to Bob Beres of the S.C. Highway Patrol. The driver of the pickup truck was also killed. 



Lexington County coroner Margaret Fisher identified the victims in the Ford as Saluda couple Harry C. Gunnells, 73, the driver; his wife Barbara Gunnells, 74, who was in the back seat; and their grandson Steven Gunnells, 16, who was in the front. All three died at the scene, Fisher said, adding that Barbara Gunnells was not wearing a seatbelt but the other two were.



The driver of the Chevy Truck has been identified as Robert H. Moore, Jr., 62, of Batesburg-Leesville, Fisher said. Moore was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland, where he later died. Moore was wearing a seatbelt, Fisher said.



The accident occurred Friday shortly before 6 p.m., according to the patrol.

Three of the dead were in one vehicle, which caught fire after colliding with a pickup truck that crossed the center line and hit another vehicle first. The driver of the pickup truck was also killed. 



According to preliminary information about the crash, all four vehicles were traveling on U.S. 378 in Lexington; three were headed east and the fourth, the Chevy pickup, was headed west. 



The pickup truck, driven by Moore, crossed the center line and side-swiped the first vehicle, a Ford van. The van spun out of control and collided with the second vehicle, a GMC SUV. The pickup continued down the road and ran into the Gunnells’ vehicle, which caught fire. 



The drivers of the first two vehicles, a 22-year-old man and 54-year old man, were taken to Lexington Medical Center for treatment, Beres said.



Their conditions were not known Saturday morning.



The accident remains under investigation by the coroner’s office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

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