Crime & Public Safety

Beaufort County woman charged with DUI after wreck blocks key bridge for hours

Drone video shows crash on Harbor Island bridge that backed up traffic Monday

Jeff Kidd shot drone video of a crash on the Harbor River Bridge in northern Beaufort County that backed up traffic for at least two hours on Monday.
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Jeff Kidd shot drone video of a crash on the Harbor River Bridge in northern Beaufort County that backed up traffic for at least two hours on Monday.

A Burton woman faces a DUI charge after a crash shut down a key Beaufort County bridge for hours Monday.

Just after 1 p.m. Monday, a 2008 Ford SUV driving on Harbor River Bridge toward St. Helena Island crossed the center line and sideswiped an Oldsmobile, S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern said. The SUV then hit a 2014 Ford pickup truck head-on, Southern said.

The 47-year-old woman driving the SUV was injured and taken to the hospital, Southern said. She was charged with driving under the influence and driving with a license suspended for DUI and remained in Beaufort County jail Tuesday morning, online jail records show.

The DUI charge was for a blood-alcohol content below .10 and is a second offense, Beaufort County court records show.

She was set to be released on her own recognizance after a bond hearing Friday morning, according to court records.

The Beaufort Gazette and The Island Packet don’t typically identify people charged with misdemeanor crimes.

A 27-year-old Bluffton man driving the Oldsmobile to work on Hunting Island wasn’t hurt, according to his father, Tim O’Sullivan.

Two people in the truck were listed in an officer’s report as having possible injuries, Southern said. None of the injuries are believed to be serious.

O’Sullivan said his son and police told him the woman driving the SUV was naked and asking others to use a phone before authorities arrived.

The narrow swing bridge connects St. Helena Island to Harbor Island and is a necessary crossing to reach Hunting Island State Park and Fripp Island.

Traffic to and from the islands was blocked for more than three hours while police and paramedics worked the scene, O’Sullivan said.

He said he parked on St. Helena and walked more than a mile to reach his son at the bridge after the crash and saw people having a picnic and others playing ball along the road while they waited.

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