Beaufort News

Beaufort couple hit by pickup still hospitalized

A Lady's Island man hit by a pickup as he crossed downtown Beaufort's Carteret Street on Saturday night tried to push his wife out of the way of the oncoming vehicle, according to a witness.

Katherine Ham, 63, and her husband, Michael, 67, were crossing Carteret Street near the intersection of Port Republic Street at about 7:25 p.m. when they were struck by a white Ford F-150 pickup driven by Marvin Jones, 88, of Beaufort, according to Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy.

Police are continuing to investigate the incident and were re-interviewing witnesses Sunday to determine whether charges would be filed, Clancy said. He said he expected the investigation to be completed today.

The Hams were walking crossing Carteret toward Wren Bistro, Bar and Market when they were hit, according to police. Both were taken by EMS Beaufort Memorial Hospital immediately after the crash, Clancy said.

On Sunday night, Katherine Ham still was being treated at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, according to hospital staff. Michael Ham was transferred to Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, according to staff there. Clancy could not provide information on the extent or severity of their injuries.

The couple had just started to cross Carteret at the crosswalk when they were struck, according to Beaufort resident Dan Mullarkey, 24, who saw the crash from nearby City Java & News. Mullarkey said he was leaving the coffeeshop as he saw the truck approach.

"I saw the couple -- they had just started walking across the street -- and I thought the truck was going to stop," he said. "It looked like the man realized the truck wasn't going to stop, so he tried to push her out of the way."

Mullarkey said he saw the pickup's driver hit the brakes and heard its tires squeal.

"It seemed like the truck hit her on its side, and she fell near sidewalk on the curb," he said. "The front of the truck hit the man. It sounded like it hit another car ... he was probably thrown about ten feet. When the truck hit him, he was wearing brown loafers, but it knocked them off and they were under the truck."

Mullarkey said he immediately called 911.

Within seconds, the pickup's driver, nearby motorists and diners at Wren came to the couple's aid, he said.

"The man tried to get up, but then he laid back down," Mullarkey said. "People started to swarm around him. There were two doctors at Wren who came over to help."

Someone brought towels and propped up the injured man's head while they waited for EMS crews to arrive. Police also arrived and spoke to the pickup's driver, he said.