Three 911 calls released by Jasper County Emergency Services describe the scene of “massive chaos” after a pickup truck slammed into a hayride Saturday night. Six people were injured.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol said Tuesday that the investigation into the crash is continuing.
The crash was reported on Tarboro Road near the Malphrus Road intersection. It happened when a 1997 pickup truck struck a hayride trailer from behind. The trailer was being pulled by a tractor. Both vehicles were headed north.
When asked by a dispatcher if everyone was out of the vehicles, one caller said, “No, it’s just massive chaos.”
“... Somebody was pulling a tractor trailer with people on it, on a hayride, and somebody hit it,” the same caller said. “There’s just a lot of people out in the road. Mass chaos.”
When asked what happened, another caller said “ We were on a hayride and some j------ hit us in the a-- of the trailer. .... I need ambulances now. Now!”
Lance Cpl. Matthew Southern said on Tuesday that any possible charges or citations have yet to be filed by the S.C. Highway Patrol – the investigating agency.
A 21-year-old male in critical condition was taken to the Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah along with a 16-year-old male and a 14-year-old male, Lance Cpl. David Jones said on Sunday.
Three other teens — a 15-year-old, a 16-year-old and an 18-year-old — were taken to Coastal Carolina by ambulance. Their genders were not available from the Highway Patrol.
Hunter Sanchez, the 15-year-old boy taken to Coastal Carolina, was transferred almost immediately to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, his aunt Brittany Sanchez told The Island Packet on Tuesday afternoon. Hunter is a sophomore at Legacy Christian Academy in Ridgeland, and he and his family are Hardeeville natives, the aunt said.
“We just want to say as a family that we are so thankful for the support we’ve received from the community,” Sanchez said, adding this is just another reason she loves living in a small town.
Hunter’s face was badly injured in the crash, Sanchez said. Though he had multiple fractures, his worst injury was his jaw — broken on both sides. He went through surgery to repair his jaw on Monday and got word Tuesday afternoon that he could go home to recover, his jaw wired shut for six weeks.
“We’re a very big family, so we’re holding each other together very well,” Sanchez said. “Right now we couldn’t be more grateful. ... It could have been a whole lot worse.”
She said the driver of the pickup truck was a friend of Hunter’s, and they’ve spoken with him since the crash. They’re not holding anything against him because, “we do feel it was an accident,” Sanchez said.
Southern could not provide an update on the victims’ injuries.
Ridgeland Fire Chief Brad Bonds said on Sunday that up to 10 other people were treated for injuries at the scene but not transported to a hospital.
The Highway Patrol said that in addition to the driver of the tractor, 13 people were riding in the hayride vehicle.