Coroner identifies Driver killed in I-95 accident; He was a John Doe and here is why

Scene of fatal I-95 wreck near Hardeeville that killed driver of SUV

A fatal crash Wednesday night closed northbound lanes of Interstate 95 for 5 hours.
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A fatal crash Wednesday night closed northbound lanes of Interstate 95 for 5 hours.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. Sunday

A man killed in a fatal crash involving an SUV and a tractor-trailer that shut down lanes of I-95 for about five hours late Wednesday and early Thursday has been idenntified, according to Jasper County Deputy Coroner Todd Harvey.

Raymond Jackson, Jr., 48, of New York died at the scene from injuries resulting from the crash, Harvey said. Jackson was a John Doe for more than a day as Coroner’s Office officials had difficulty confirming his identity.

Jackson’s 1999 Ford Expedition was traveling north along the interstate around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday when a tractor-trailer pulled off the shoulder, said Cpl. Sonny Collins, spokesman for the Highway Patrol.

He was the only person in the vehicle and was wearing a seat belt.

The drive of the tractor-trailer was not injured but was charged with failure to yield right of way, Collins said.

Harvey said proper identification for Jackson was not found in the vehicle or at the scene. The vehicle also had a temporary vehicle registration outside of the state where Jackson lived. Jackson’s phone also was smashed in the accident.

“We had a responsibility and some hard work to find him,” Harvey said.

Multiple leads in finding next of kin failed, but on Friday officials finally made contact with Jackson’s mother. A sister then was able to identify him through a photo.

Harvey said Jasper County Sheriff’s Office detectives helped the coroner’s office in finding Jackson’s family.

“It was the worst of the worst situation, but we were able to identify him, which is a blessing,” Harvey said.

Difficulty in identifying a body can happen from time to time, Harvey said. He suggested people keep proper photo identification on them in case of emergencies. He also added that adding emergency contacts to cell phones can help emergency officials.

Memorials erected by families for loved ones who died in the 'coffin corridor' section of I-95 will be removed in the next few days by SCDOT ahead of the tree removal in the median.

The accident remains under investigation by the Highway Patrol, Collins said.

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