4 hurt, 1 airlifted in Bluffton wreck

rlurye@islandpacket.comApril 8, 2014 

Traffic cameras show an April 8, 2014, wreck on U.S. 278 in which four people were injured, one of whom was airlifted to a hospital.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Four people were injured at midday Tuesday in a three-vehicle wreck on U.S. 278 near Island West in Bluffton, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A Ford E-Series van was traveling west at about 11:45 a.m. when it began to break down, Senior Trooper Hannah Wimberly said. The driver, 32-year-old Steven Couch of Lady's Island, tried to merge onto the median near Island West when the van was rear-ended by a Jaguar.

The Jaguar was then struck by a Mercury sedan, Wimberly said.

All involved were injured, though they were wearing seat belts, she said.

The driver of the Jaguar, Donald Smith, 92, was airlifted to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Wimberly said. He was in serious condition Tuesday.

Couch and his passenger, 33-year-old Anthony Couch of Lady's Island, were transported by ambulance to Coastal Carolina Hospital in Hardeeville, according to the Highway Patrol. The driver of the Mercury, Theresa Maguire, 52, later went to the hospital.

Their conditions, and Maguire's hometown, were not available Tuesday.

The highway was shut down after the wreck, with the Bluffton Police Department directing traffic at Buckwalter Parkway. Lanes were open in both directions by 1 p.m., according to Randy Hunter of the Bluffton Township Fire District.

The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the accident, Wimberly said.

Follow reporter Rebecca Lurye on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Rebecca.

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