77-year-old Hilton Head man ‘seriously injured’ in June 7 Shelter Cove Corvette crash

A 77-year-old Hilton Head Island was “seriously injured” in a collision at Shelter Cove and U.S. 278 on June 7, according to Lance Cpl. Matt Southern with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A spokesperson from Memorial Health University Medical Center told The Island Packet the man was no longer in its care on Thursday, June 13. The hospital could not give any further information about his injuries.

The driver was in a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette Coupe southbound on U.S. 278 when a pickup truck turning out of Shelter Cove Plaza near Hickory Tavern failed to yield the right-of-way and the two vehicles collided, Southern said.

The bright blue Corvette ran off the left side of the road and hit a tree in the U.S. 278 median, he said.

The Corvette’s driver was transported by Beaufort County EMS to Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, according to Southern and Maj. Bob Bromage of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt when his Corvette went off the road, and Southern said he was not sure if the vintage car was equipped with seatbelts. He was not ejected from the car, Southern said.

The driver of the pickup truck — who is from West Allenhurst, New Jersey — was wearing a seatbelt and was not injured in the collision, Southern said.

New Shelter Cove construction, traffic

The intersection where the crash happened and its surrounding corridor are in the beginning stages of a $1.25 million construction project to make the area safer for drivers and pedestrians, The Island Packet has previously reported.

That project includes the following changes to the intersection near Hickory Tavern:

  • Adding double-left turn lanes for cars leaving Shelter Cove Towne Centre.
  • Stopping northbound traffic on U.S. 278 at a signal so drivers can turn left from the shopping center onto the highway.
  • Deleting the acceleration lane, which the town traffic engineer has called “too short” for existing traffic to speed up to match drivers on U.S. 278.
  • Adding a signalized pedestrian crosswalk to get people from town pathways on northbound U.S. 278 to the Shelter Cove entrance.
Shelter Cove.jpg
The proposed plan for the intersection of U.S. 278 and Shelter Cove Lane at the entrance to Hickory Tavern on Hilton Head. Town of Hilton Head Island presentation, released.

The shopping center intersection has been the site of two fatalities since 2014, The Island Packet previously reported.

Deweese Weaver, 78, was struck and killed by a motorist as she was walking her bike across the street on Feb. 16, 2017. Jerome Stewart, 43, died after he lost control of his vehicle and struck a tree on March 15, 2014.

However, residents have cautioned the widening of the road will negatively affect the tree canopy that is a signature look of the mid-island corridor.

In December, town officials said the new plans will minimize harm to the tree canopy as much as possible.

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.