Beaufort News

Passenger nearly loses arm in wreck; driver charged with DUI

A 25-year-old Hilton Head Island man was severely injured early Sunday morning when the vehicle he was riding in struck a tree near the intersection of Leg O' Mutton Road and Capital Drive on Hilton Head, according to a report from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies arrived at the scene around 2 a.m. to find the man bleeding heavily where his right arm had been partially severed. He was transported by LifeStar helicopter to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah where he was listed in fair condition Sunday evening, said Adam Latham, a hospital spokesman.

The driver of the vehicle, Jerardo Hernandez Chavez, 25, of Hilton Head, was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence causing great bodily injury, said S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Paul Brouthers.

Chavez was driving a 1999 Volkswagen west on Leg O' Mutton Road when it went off the right side of the road and sideswiped a tree, Brouthers said. The Volkswagen struck the tree on the passenger's side and was damaged heavily, according to the report. When deputies approached the vehicle, they noticed a strong odor of alcohol, the report said.

Chavez is being held at the Beaufort County Detention Center. His bond has been set at $100,000, according to the jail's log. He was not injured in the crash.