Hilton Head man dies in car crash in Bluffton

September 9, 2010 

A 21-year-old Hilton Head Island man who was a former starting running back for Hilton Head Christian Academy’s state championship football team died early this morning when the car he was driving struck a tree on Burnt Church Road near the Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Bluffton, according to the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office.

Matthew Paul Carrabba was driving north toward U.S. 278 on Burnt Church Road near Bluffton Parkway shortly before 2 a.m. when he apparently lost control of his yellow 2010 Dodge Challenger, said Deputy Coroner David Ott.

The car veered off the east side of Burnt Church Road and through a ditch before striking a tree on the side of the road, he said.

Carrabba was ejected from the vehicle, Bluffton Township Fire District Assistant Chief Paul Boulware said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, Ott said. It is not known if he was wearing a seat belt, he said.

“The car was badly damaged,” Boulware said. “It’s hard to tell at this point exactly what happened.”

Boulware said a witness called 911 to report the crash at about 1:50 a.m.

The Coroner’s Office is awaiting the results of pathology reports from an autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina, Ott said.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, he said.

According to Carrabba’s Facebook profile, he was attending the University of South Carolina Beaufort and was manager at Paulie’s Pizza on Buckwalter Parkway. He graduated from Hilton Head Christian Academy in 2007.

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