Beaufort News

Ridgeland crash victims mourned by community

The S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating a crash late Friday on S.C. 462 in Jasper County that killed a 29-year-old Ridgeland mother and her sons, ages 2 and 6.

Wendy Orozco Garcia, a S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control employee, and her son, Frankie, 6, died after a car driven by a Ridgeland man crossed the center line on S.C. 462 and collided with the family's car, according to Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls.

Monday morning, Orozco's youngest child, Jacob, who was a passenger in the back seat of the family's car, died at Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, Sauls said.

Orozco's husband, Pablo, who was taken by helicopter to Savannah Memorial after the crash, was expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday, according to Cathy Tuten, business manager at Thomas Heyward Academy. Frankie Orozco was a first-grader there and the couple's oldest son, Pablo Jr., is a sixth grader.

Pablo Orozco Jr. was not in the car when it crashed, Sauls said.

According to the Highway Patrol, Pablo Orozco, 36, was driving west in the family's 1965 Chevrolet Bel Air on S.C. 462 about four miles east of Ridgeland when it collided with a car driven by Franklin Bostic, 22.

Bostic, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from his car and taken by helicopter to Savannah Memorial, according to the Highway Patrol.

None of the Orozco family members was wearing seat belts. The 2-year-old also was not restrained in a child passenger seat, according to the Highway Patrol.

Sauls believed Bostic pulled into the lane of oncoming traffic as he tried to pass another vehicle, Sauls said.

The Highway Patrol's Major Accident Investigation Team continues to investigate the crash. No charges have been filed, according to agency spokesman Cpl. Bob Beres."Wendy was a very caring mother who always stayed very involved in what was going on at the school," Tuten said. "It's devastating to everyone. We're doing whatever we can to be positive for Pablo and support the family."

Friends, school officials and co-workers of the couple have created a fund at S.C. Bank and Trust. Donations are accepted at any branch, Tuten said.

Funeral arrangements are pending, Sauls said.

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