1 dead, 2 injured after driver strikes utility truck in Bluffton

tbarton@islandpacket.comMarch 2, 2012 

Emergency crews respond to a two-vehicle traffic accident on U.S. 278 at about 7 a.m. near St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in greater Bluffton which has traffic backed up in both directions.

SARAH WELLIVER, THE ISLAND PACKE

A motorist was killed Friday after veering into oncoming traffic and striking a utility truck on U.S. 278, an accident that sent two others to the hospital, according to Bluffton police.

The driver of a Nissan Maxima was traveling west around 7 a.m. near the intersection with Buckwalter Parkway, lost control and crossed the median into eastbound traffic. The Nissan struck a utility truck, causing extensive damage to both vehicles, Bluffton Police Department spokesman Sgt. Joe Babkiewicz said.

An eastbound driver swerved out of the way before the Nissan T-boned the utility truck, Babkiewicz added.

The Nissan driver was found dead inside the vehicle by emergency crews, Babkiewicz said. The driver's name was being withheld, pending notification of family.

The driver and passenger of the utility truck were taken to Coastal Carolina Hospital and treated for minor injuries.

The wreck is being investigated by Bluffton police, and no further information was available Friday evening, Babkiewicz said.

The wreck shut down eastbound traffic on U.S. 278 for about two hours and slowed westbound traffic. It was flowing again by about 9:30 a.m.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and the Bluffton Township Fire District also responded.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at twitter.com/EyeOnHiltonHead.

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