Driver crashes through Hilton Head welcome sign

sbowman@islandpacket.comAugust 20, 2013 

A driver alleged to be intoxicated crashed through the "Welcome to Hilton Head Island" sign near the island's airport, leaving $10,000 in damage to the brick sign built last year.

A 23-year-old man drove his 2005 Honda Civic into the sign at the traffic circle at Beach City Road and Mathews Drive at about 4 a.m. Saturday. He was charged with driving under the influence, Beaufort County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robin McIntosh said Tuesday.

"The driver decided to go through the traffic circle and not around it, going right into the sign," McIntosh said.

There was at least one other person in the car with the man, McIntosh said, and no one was injured.

The estimated damage to the brick sign is about $10,000, and the town has already contacted a contractor to give a more specific cost for the repairs, Hilton Head facilities manager Julian Walls said. He hoped the work could be completed within two weeks.

"We will try to get it repaired as quickly as possible," Walls said. "I don't think we will be able to salvage any of the original materials."

Construction on the sign was completed in early 2012 for about $20,000, town director of public projects Scott Liggett said.

The town expects to recoup the costs from the driver's insurance company, he said.

The driver was arrested and later released Saturday on a $997 cash bond, according to the county jail log.

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