Traffic

Car on fire driving down SC 170 in Bluffton area, 911 callers report. Here’s what happened

Car fire backs up traffic on U.S. 278 in Okatie

A car fire backed up traffic on U.S. 278 near Okatie Center Blvd. around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2019.
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A car fire backed up traffic on U.S. 278 near Okatie Center Blvd. around 12:40 p.m. on Thursday, May 23, 2019.

A driver made it to safety after the vehicle caught fire Thursday while driving down S.C. 170 in the Okatie area, says Lee Levesque, spokesman with the Bluffton Township Fire District.

Levesque said the department received numerous calls from motorists around 12:40 p.m. stating a small gray Ford car was driving down S.C. 170 while on fire.

The car eventually stopped by Wendy’s at the intersection of U.S. 278 and Palmer Grace Drive, Levesque said. The driver was able to escape from the car prior to first responders arrival.

Yet, the car was fully consumed by fire upon the fire department’s arrival on the scene, Levesque said.

Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Bob Bromage said the fire was extinguished by 12:50 p.m. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Bluffton Fire Department, and EMS responded to the scene.

Google Maps shows still showed traffic backing up on westbound lanes of U.S. 278 near the S.C. 170 intersection at about 1 p.m. First responders remained on scene. Smoke could be seen along U.S. 278 in the Bluffton area.

Levesque said traffic may remain slow from motorists slowing down to look.

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