Bluffton woman charged in hit-and-run death

mmcnab@beaufortgazette.comFebruary 16, 2014 

A Bluffton woman has been charged in a hit-and-run accident Friday that killed a Hilton Head Island man, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Katie Byam, 32, was charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death and driving with a suspended license in connection with the accident, according to the Highway Patrol report.

Byam is accused of striking and killing 28-year-old Joshua Michael Hebenstreit shortly after 9 p.m. Friday while he was walking along Lagoon Road near Dove Street on Hilton Head, according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott.

Highway Patrol investigators found a Toyota Sienna in Bluffton that was determined to be the vehicle involved in the crash, which was then traced back to Byam, an agency report said.

Byam is being held without bond at the Beaufort County Detention Center, according to the jail log.

Hebenstreit is the second pedestrian to be struck and killed on Hilton Head in three months. Jenny Mercer was struck and killed by a vehicle Nov. 3 along South Forest Beach Drive, about a mile from Friday’s accident.

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