Crime & Public Safety

Family of 78-year-old bicyclist killed near Hilton Head’s Shelter Cove sues, document says

Hilton Head bicyclists: Most dangerous spots are ‘anywhere on 278,’ and intersections

At a meeting of Hilton Head's Kickin' Asphalt Bicycle Club, on Jan. 25, 2017, at Hinchey's Chicago Bar & Grill, we asked members where they consider the most dangerous places to bike on the island.
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At a meeting of Hilton Head's Kickin' Asphalt Bicycle Club, on Jan. 25, 2017, at Hinchey's Chicago Bar & Grill, we asked members where they consider the most dangerous places to bike on the island.

The family of Deweese Weaver, a 78-year-old bicyclist who was killed in a crosswalk near Shelter Cove on Hilton Head in 2017, is suing the driver of the car that struck her, claiming negligence.

Weaver was walking her bike across U.S. 278 near the Whole Foods grocery store Feb. 16, 2017 when she was struck by a car driven by Elise Wiseman, who was traveling east on the highway, according to the collision report by the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Weaver died on the scene, according to the suit filed in the Beaufort County Court of Common Pleas on Feb. 5, 2019. Her family is suing Wiseman for failing to yield to Weaver — whom they said had the right-of-way because she was in the crosswalk.

Contacted Wednesday, Wiseman declined comment. There was no lawyer listed for Wiseman in the Beaufort County Court index.

The suit is not seeking pre-determined damages, leaving that amount for the court to decide.

“Deweese Weaver sustained severe injuries and endured conscious pain and suffering prior to her death,” the suit says. “As a result of her death, her beneficiaries suffered grief, sorrow, mental anguish and all other damages which accompany the death of a mother.”

Weaver’s estate and family are being represented by William Barnes of Hampton-based Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth & Detrick, P.A. law firm.

No charges have been filed against Wiseman, the highway patrol said Wednesday.

“The bicyclist contributed to the crash,” Lance Cpl. Matthew Southern of the patrol told The Island Packet at the time of the investigation into the collision. “Apparently there is a stop sign for the crosswalk itself. With that stop sign being there, it dictates the (pedestrian) to stop and make sure (the roadway) is clear before proceeding into the crosswalk.”

The series of six intersections that make up the Shelter Cove corridor are the subject of a $1.25 million town project to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians.

The proposed improvements for the intersection where Weaver was killed include removing the crosswalk where she died and closing the median.

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Town of Hilton Head, released.

Those changes will route pedestrians up to the new traffic light near the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office to cross the highway, where the speed limit is 45 mph.

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The proposed plan for the intersection of U.S. 278 and Shelter Cove Lane on Hilton Head near the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office. Town of Hilton Head Island presentation, released.

“This project study area has been of interest since 2015 due to growing development in the corridor, increased congestion, and a desire to improve safety,” town engineer Jeff Buckalew told The Island Packet in December.

The intersection where Weaver was killed has been the site of 24 collisions involving a variety of vehicles since 2015, according to town collision data.

There have been 99 collisions throughout the Shelter Cove corridor since then, two of which were fatal.

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Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.


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