Multiple vehicle crashes in Burton send 12 to hospital

Twelve people were taken to an area hospital after three separate traffic crashes occurred within 24 hours on the Robert Smalls Parkway.

The first accident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Friday in the 200 block of the parkway, according to Burton Fire District spokesman Dan Byrne.

Both the district and Beaufort County EMS responded to the accident involving a car and a pickup truck. Three people were taken to Beaufort Memorial Hospital with injuries that were not considered life-threatening, Byrne said.

The westbound lane of the parkway was blocked for more than 45 minutes while emergency crews assisted the injured and removed roadway hazards. Both vehicles sustained heavy damage, Byrne said.

The second accident occurred less than 30 minutes later on Friday in the parking lot of T.J. Maxx and involved two cars. Neither vehicle was damaged, but seven occupants in one of the cars, which contained nine people including unrestrained children, requested that they be taken to the hospital.

The third crash occurred just after 5 p.m. Saturday at the Savannah Highway and parkway intersection, according to Byrne.

Two cars collided, and two people -- one from each car -- were taken to the hospital, he said.

Byrne reminded those who witness accidents to leave the occupants in their vehicles unless the vehicle is on fire or there is other immediate danger.

"It's best just to leave people where they are and keep them calm until we get there," he said.