A teenage sister and brother were killed in a head-on crash with a tractor trailer, the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.
The Ridgeville siblings were identified Monday, three days after the collision, the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office said in an interview with The State.
Kylie Marie Hales, 16, and Gabriel “Gabe” Brian Hales, 14, died instantly at the scene of the wreck, according to the coroner’s office.
Kylie, less than a month away from her 17th birthday, was a student at Cane Bay High School where she was a rising junior, according to an obituary for her and her brother.
Gabe was about to start his freshman year at Woodland High School in Dorchester, the obituary said.
Both were killed instantly in the crash that occurred as Kylie was heading home from a day of high school orientation, according to an online fundraiser set up to help their family pay for funeral expenses.
“We are saddened to acknowledge the passing of two of our Wolverine family, Kylie and Gabe Hales,” said a post sharing condolences on Woodland High School’s Twitter feed, that included the hashtags #kylieandgabestrong #woodlandstrong.
The crash occurred just before 9:30 a.m. Aug. 16 on US-176 in Berkeley County, according to Lance Cpl. Matt Southern of the S.C. Highway Patrol.
The Hales were heading west on the highway when their 2006 Dodge Stratus crossed the center line and ran into an eastbound Freightliner 18-wheel truck, Southern said. The sedan then caught fire, but did not play a part in their deaths, the coroner’s office said of the teens who were “dead before that happened.”
The teens were wearing seat belts, but died of injuries sustained in the crash, according to highway patrol.
The driver of the tractor trailer was also wearing a seat belt and was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries, Southern said.
The area where the wreck occurred was closed down for hours, WCBD reported.
The collision remains under investigation by highway patrol and the coroner’s office, but funeral arrangements have been made for the teens whose father, Charles Albert Hales III, died in 2007 at the age of 32, according to his obituary.
A funeral service will be held Thursday at 11 a.m. in Ridgeville’s Cypress United Methodist Church, with burial to follow, according to the siblings’ obituary.
Kylie is remembered as someone who “loved hanging out with friends and going to the lake,” while Gabe was known as an avid fan of fishing, Fortnite and basketball, the obituary said.
They are survived by their mother and sister in Ridgeville, in addition to a brother in Jacksonville, North Carolina, per the obituary.
The GoFundMe campaign has raised more than $23,000 in a day, with the organizer saying excess funds will be given to the family for counseling among other needs.