HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – State roads in Horry County were some of the deadliest in the Palmetto State last year.
There were 47 fatalities in 2012, rounding out the top five counties for most deaths in South Carolina according to the latest figures released by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.
Two categories showed a significant increase in the number of deaths. One of those categories, the number of people with access to seat belts who died unbelted. Another alarming trend is the number of pedestrians who died while crossing state highways.
According to Lance Corporal Sonny Collins with the South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP), most pedestrian deaths happened at nighttime. It's also common to see pedestrians who were struck and killed, were actually intoxicated at the time or had been drinking.
SCHP considers pedestrians, bikers and motorcyclist all vulnerable users of roadways. The recent statistics show in 2012 there were also more deaths involving motorcyclists and bicyclists.
In all three categories, the number of deaths has been on the rise over the past several years. Collins says in 2013, troopers will continue to combat these kinds of highway fatalities, especially when it comes to people crossing busy roads. The department will step up their S.E.E. campaign which stands for stop, educate, and enforce.
"We found that most pedestrians just do not understand they can't be in the road, through doing safety talks around the area. We found that a lot of people think pedestrians have the right away, and they do not except in crosswalks and intersections. This is an education campaign and we want to make sure we get them doing the right thing," said Collins.
More than half of the people involved in a deadly crash in 2012 were not wearing a safety belt. That's a 10 percent jump from 2011 and a total of 319 lives lost. Wearing a safety belt is a primary law in South Carolina, which means every person inside of a vehicle is required to buckle up.
Collins says there have been improvements made with seatbelt usage over the last few years, but not enough. Collins says this year it is something troopers will be looking for every day they are out working. Collins points out, contrary to what some believe, the bottom line is that seat belts save lives.
"They're concerned about being trapped after a collision and stuff like that. But we try to just tell people that the best place for you is to remain in that car during a crash. If you come out of a car during a crash, you're up to seven times more likely to die in that crash," explained Collins.
A safety belt violation citation will cost an individual $25.
Thursday, April 24 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:50:44 GMT
SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – A WMBF News crews saw authorities remove a car from a Walmart parking lot after responding to a shoplifting incident. Authorities arrested the shoplifting suspect at the WalmartMore >>
A WMBF News crews saw authorities remove a car from a Walmart parking lot after responding to a shoplifting incident.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 9:47 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:47:03 GMT
FLORENCE, SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) Florence County said buying four new fire trucks is going to lower taxes. Improve response times and make up for a lack of manpower. The Olanta Fire Station is gettingMore >>
Council members of Florence County said buying four new fire trucks is going to lower taxes. Improve response times and make up for a lack of manpower.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 9:44 PM EDT2014-04-25 01:44:45 GMT
MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) - A HAZMAT situation is underway at Wachesaw Plantation East on Riverwood Drive. Several emergency crews are on the scene working to assess the situation, according to Gary MocarskiMore >>
Five patients were transported to area hospitals after too much chlorine leaked into a pool at Wachesaw Plantation East on Riverwood Drive. More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:59 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:59:27 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The head of Coast RTA has been running the area's only mass transit system for nearly 10 years now. And for nearly 10 years, he has had to endure the wrath from an army of criticsMore >>
After 10 years as CEO of Coast RTA, Myers Rollins points to a significant financial and operational turnaround under his tenure, while critics lambaste him for several missteps. WMBF investigated the controversy brewing at the Coast RTA to see who's getting thrown "Under the Bus"More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:44 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:44:32 GMT
DILLON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – A convenience store clerk was murdered Monday night during an apparent robbery on Highway 9 East in Dillon County, officials confirmed. The clerk was closing the 20/20 ConvenientMore >>
A Dillon man has been arrested in connection to the convenience store robbery that happened Monday. More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:35 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:35:44 GMT
MONDAY AT 11PM – A local teenager disappeared last summer – but it was not without a trace. "When I found that car, I knew right then he was gone," said the grandfather of Zachary Malinowski, the AynorMore >>
Tune in to WMBF News on Monday at 11 p.m. as we uncover new details in the search for Zachary Malinowski.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 7:46 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:46:29 GMT
GALIVANTS FERRY, SC (WMBF) - A helicopter is en route to a burn victim on Highway 129. The victim was refueling a lawn mower and suffers injuries from a flash fire, according to Scott Thompson with HorryMore >>
A helicopter is en route to a burn victim on Highway 129. The victim was refueling a lawn mower and suffers injuries from a flash fire, according to Scott Thompson with HCFR.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 7:13 PM EDT2014-04-24 23:13:24 GMT
TABOR CITY, NC (WECT) - It could be months before the family of a South Columbus High School student knows what lead to the teen's unexpected death. Jaqwan Cephus McGill collapsed at a convenience storeMore >>
It could be months before the family of a South Columbus High School student knows what led to the teen's unexpected death.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 6:41 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:41:26 GMT
HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF)- Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and with it comes the set deadline for completion of the current widening project happening on Highway 501. Crews are working to widenMore >>
Memorial Day weekend is fast approaching and with it comes the set deadline for completion of the current widening project happening on Highway 501. Crews are working to widen the road from two lanes to three on the inland bound lanes.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 6:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 22:32:05 GMT
Socastee (WMBF) - Standing by her side while she gave her acceptance speech at Wednesday night's Teacher of the Year Gala in Colombia was one of Jennifer Ainsworth's special needs students. "It was soMore >>
Standing by her side while she gave her acceptance speech at Wednesday night's Teacher of the Year Gala in Columbia was one of Jennifer Ainsworth's students with special needs.