Crime & Public Safety

Ridgeland man charged in February crash that killed 27-year-old woman, police say

Kieth Lamont Howard
Kieth Lamont Howard Jasper County Detention Center

A 49-year-old Ridgeland man was charged Thursday for a fatal crash that killed Deidre Roberts — also of Ridgeland — on Feb. 8 near Honey Hill Plantation, according to Sgt. Tim East of the Ridgeland Police Department.

Keith Howard was charged with two DUI felonies, an open container violation and driving an uninsured vehicle in relation to the crash, which killed the 27-year-old mom of three, East said.

Roberts was riding in Howard’s 2010 Mercedes Benz at around 55 mph when the car went into the eastbound lane and struck an oncoming Ford Focus head-on, The Island Packet previously reported.

She was taken by ambulance to Coastal Carolina Hospital where she later died, East said.

A photo from the Feb. 8 crash scene in Ridgeland. Sgt. Tim East, Ridgeland Police Department.

Colton Taylor of Bluffton — who was driving the Ford Focus — had a broken arm and femur after the collision.

Howard was arrested Thursday at his Ridgeland apartment, according to East.

His bond was set at $74,061, and he was charged with one count DUI for Roberts’ death and another for the “serious bodily harm” Taylor sustained in the collision, East said.

Deidre Roberts is a 27-year-old Ridgeland woman who died Friday after a collision on S.C. 336. Submitted

Contacted immediately after the collision, Roberts’ sister Heather Harris told The Island Packet she would be “missed dearly and always” by her three children — who are 5 years old, 3 years old and 2 years old.

“Her three children are not old enough to remember her laugh or the warmth of her embrace, but each one has a different quality of their mother from her beautiful eyes and bright smile to her love for life and adventure ...” Harris said in February.

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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.