String of deadly accidents raises concern in Horry County

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Three fatal accidents happened less than three months apart from each other and it's raising concern in the community.

On Saturday, shortly after 1 p.m., the South Carolina Highway Patrol said Jordy Wayne Calhoun was driving northbound on Highway 17 Business just north of Highway 544. The SCHP said Calhoun crossed the median and hit a van that was driving southbound. Wesley Samuel, 52, was pronounced dead at the scene. The five other passengers were transported to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

On July 12, 18-year-old Cynthia Ayala was hit and killed while driving northbound on 17-Business in front of the Old Time Pottery store. Less than 48 hours after that accident, a man was killed while driving his motorcycle in front of the Ocean Lakes Campground.

Residents in the community say although these accidents could be just that, accidents, some changes could be made to ensure the roads are as safe as they can be.

"I've got a feeling speed is a big thing here...and also, the way the parking lots sit, I think people just come and pull in and out. It's really dangerous and it's really bad in the spring time and in the summer time. It's very hectic here. Even just coming in and out of our two stores, it's almost like taking your life to pull in and out," Beach Store Owner Cindy Shamah said.

"Maybe there's too much scenery on this end. Maybe that needs to be cut back. Maybe we, I don't know, if we need more of that but people don't see the little side roads where you can bear off on," suggests Shamah.

Jean Spivey agreed, the scenery causes a blind spot when cars are trying to pull from the middle of the highway into traffic.

"If those trees hadn't of been there, the car, the van may have seen him coming across the road and they could've stopped, turned or something to avoid it but you know, we don't know that," reasoned Spivey.

Other people who live and work said factors such as drinking and tourists unaware of Horry County's rules of the road could play a factor in the high rate of fatal accidents.

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