South Carolina

Three killed, five hurt in crash near South Carolina university campus, coroner says

Three people were killed and five others were hospitalized in a car crash near a university on Saturday night as Tropical Storm Nestor dumped rain on South Carolina, the Greenville County Coroner’s Office said.

The two-vehicle collision occurred at about 6 p.m. on the U.S. 25 Bypass near the campus of Furman University, Coroner B. Parks Evans, Jr. said in a news release.

Three of four occupants in a 2003 Toyota Corolla were killed, while four people in a Toyota pickup truck were injured and hospitalized, said Trooper Joel Hovis of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. Two of the people injured were children, according to Hovis.

Hector Ruiz De La Cruz was one of three people who died after the wreck, according to the coroner.

The 30-year-old Greenville man was a back-seat passenger in a Corolla that crossed into the oncoming lanes of traffic and hit the truck during the rain storm, Evans said.

After suffering multiple blunt force traumas, De La Cruz was taken to Prisma Health Greenville Memorial Hospital where he died just before 7 p.m., according to the coroner’s office.

Jorge Alfredo Gomez De La Cruz was identified as the driver of the Corolla who was killed in the wreck, Evans said. The 21-year-old Greenville man had to be mechanically extricated after getting trapped in the car and died at the scene, according to Highway Patrol.

The other person who died at the scene will be publicly identified after the coroner has notified the next of kin.

An 18-year-old passenger in the Corolla was injured and taken to a Greenville hospital, Hovis said.

A family of four in the pickup truck, including a 9- and 13-year-old, were all hospitalized, Hovis said. The members of the South Carolina family were all wearing seat belts, per Highway Patrol.

Further information on their conditions was not available.

Hovis said no charges will be filed and the coroner’s office has called the crash an accident.

The collision continues to be investigated by Highway Patrol and the coroner’s office.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.


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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.