Beaufort News

Man dies in US 21 moped crash

A Toyota driven by a woman identified by the Beaufort County Detention Center as Jermasha Nelson, 22, of Ridgeland, rests on U.S. 21 near Garret Smalls Road after it struck a moped around 5:30 a.m. Sept. 5, 2016. Nelson was charged with felony DUI in the collision.
A Toyota driven by a woman identified by the Beaufort County Detention Center as Jermasha Nelson, 22, of Ridgeland, rests on U.S. 21 near Garret Smalls Road after it struck a moped around 5:30 a.m. Sept. 5, 2016. Nelson was charged with felony DUI in the collision. Burton Fire District

One person was killed early Monday morning in a crash involving a car and moped on U.S. 21 near Garret Smalls Road.

The victim was 54-year-old Gordon McQuinn Ward, of Beaufort, Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said Monday afternoon.

Ward died after being hit from behind by a 2015 Toyota around 5:30 a.m., according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins.

The Toyota driver, Jermasha Nelson, 22, of Ridgeland, faces a felony DUI charge in connection with the crash, according to the Beaufort County Detention Center website. She was arrested later Monday morning and is being held in the detention center, awaiting a bond hearing.

This will be Nelson’s second DUI charge in Beaufort County, according to Beaufort County Court records. She was also charged with a DUI in December 2014, for which she is currently scheduled to appear before the court this month, online records showed Monday afternoon.

Both vehicles were traveling north at the time of the crash, according to Collins. Firefighters at first could not find Ward, but eventually discovered his body in the highway’s grassy media using thermal imaging equipment, Burton Fire District spokesman Daniel Byrne said.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday, Allen said. The crash remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol.

Joan McDonough: 843-706-8125, @IPBG_Joan

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