Beaufort News

Highway Patrol no closer to finding out who smashed traffic camera

The S.C. Highway Patrol says its investigators are no closer to figuring out who destroyed one of Ridgeland's traffic cameras along Interstate 95 last month.

The investigation has little to go on unless someone comes forward with information on the Dec. 27 hit-and-run crash, said Cpl. Paul Brouthers, patrol spokesman.

"We have nothing new," Brouthers said.

A vehicle struck and destroyed the camera about 1 p.m. and drove off, Brouthers said. The officer controlling the camera equipment was on the southbound side and did not see the crash, Brouthers said.

The camera was monitoring northbound lanes of I-95 from the median -- off the road but near the painted line. The cameras are set up on tripods along the interstate and snap photos of the vehicle, its driver and its license plate if the vehicle is traveling faster than 81 mph.

Ridgeland Mayor Gary Hodges declined to say whether he thought the camera was destroyed intentionally. It was promptly replaced by another camera.

"We never ceased operations," Hodges wrote in an e-mail.

Officials from iTraffic, the Ridgeland-based company the town partnered with in May to install and operate the cameras, said they did not believe the camera was deliberately destroyed.

"It was described to us as a hit and run," said iTraffic chairman Bill Danzell. "We do not believe it was intentional."