Beaufort News

Mother, son killed in Friday wreck; names still being withheld

The names of two people killed in a singe-car crash Friday in Hilton Head Plantation are still being withheld as the coroner works to find their legal next of kin.

The Beaufort County Coroner's Office said Monday the two victims were mother and son. Officials notified a brother of the 31-year-old Hilton Head Island man who was driving, but have been unable to reach their father, who was traveling in Nevada. Because the driver was unmarried, the father is considered next of kin to both.

"The son is in Las Vegas trying to find his father who went on vacation in another direction," Coroner Ed Allen said. "The father is the legal next of kin, and we have been doing what we can since Friday to notify him, including enlisting the help of out-of-state law enforcement, but have been unsuccessful."

Both mother and son died from multiple trauma, according to Allen.

The accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of Skull Creek and Seabrook drives inside the gated community on Hilton Head.

The S.C. Highway Patrol said the driver disregarded a stop sign on Skull Creek Drive and hit a tree. He and his 56-year-old mother, of Melrose, Minn., were declared dead at the scene.

Additional details about the crash were unavailable Monday.

"We are still doing our investigation," said Lance Cpl. Brent Kelly of the Highway Patrol, adding that he did not know how fast the driver was going or what might have caused the accident.

Allen said autopsies were performed at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. They included toxicology tests, but those results won't be available for a few weeks, he said.

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