Bus strikes, kills Hilton Head man in Jasper County

pdonohue@beaufortgazette.comOctober 26, 2011 

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A 28-year-old Hilton Head Island man was killed Wednesday morning after he was hit by a Palmetto Breeze bus in Jasper County.

Zachary Holland was walking in the middle of S.C. 462 when he was struck by the bus at about 6:30 a.m. as it attempted to pass another vehicle in the eastbound lane, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol. The accident occurred about six miles east of Ridgeland.

Holland was pronounced dead at the scene, Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls said.

The driver, Nellie Jackson, 55, of Varnville, was taken to Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, where she was treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

None of the 14 bus passengers was injured.

Jackson has driven for Palmetto Breeze for seven years and went through a lengthy screening before she was hired, according to Rochelle Ferguson, the public transit authority's executive director.

"Prior to driving for Palmetto Breeze, a driver must undergo a series of background checks, as well as a review of his or her motor-vehicle record and a drug screen," Ferguson said. "(Jackson) passed all of these screens and has been an excellent employee.

"She is understandably very upset by this accident, and we are doing everything possible to support her during this time."

The Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, said Cpl. Bob Beres, an agency spokesman.

Holland's death is the second pedestrian fatality in as many weeks in Jasper County.

A man walking or standing in a northbound lane of Interstate 95 near mile-marker 29 was killed Oct. 16 after being struck by a passing motorist.

The man, who was about 30 years old and Hispanic, was not carrying a driver's license, identity card or wallet and has yet to be identified, Sauls said.

That accident remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.

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