Traffic

Columbia man killed before highway crash that blocked traffic is identified by coroner

A Columbia man was found dead in his car Wednesday after a crash that backed up traffic on Interstate 20.
A Columbia man was found dead in his car Wednesday after a crash that backed up traffic on Interstate 20.

The crash that blocked a major Midlands highway for hours Wednesday was caused by a driver who died before his car hit a guard rail, the Richland County Coroner’s Office said.

An autopsy was performed on Marcus Deon Wilson, Coroner Gary Watts said in a news release.

While the cause of death for the 48-year-old Columbia resident has not been determined, Watts said Wilson’s death was not related to the crash.

The collision occurred just before 12:30 p.m. on Interstate 20, according to the news release. Wilson’s vehicle ran off the side of the road in an eastbound lane at the 72 mile marker and crashed into the guard rail, Watts said.

That is on the north side of Columbia, at Farrow Road.

Wilson was the only person in the vehicle and died at the scene, according to the news release.

Traffic backed up miles before the site of the crash, where vehicles moved at an average speed of 17 mph, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. It took about two hours for all of the lanes to reopen, according to SCDOT.

Wilson’s death and the crash remain under investigation by the coroner’s office and highway patrol.

A coroner investigates deaths of persons dying from criminal violence, accidents, suicide, sudden unexpected deaths (without an attending physician), any suspicious or unusual circumstances, or when the decedent is unidentified. Here's a look.

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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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