Garden City crash kills 1, sends 1 to hospital

GARDEN CITY, SC (WMBF) - 45-year-old Robert Watson of Surfside Beach was killed and 40-year-old Eric Jones is in serious condition after crossing Highway 17 Business on Saturday evening. The two were struck by the driver of a Ford F-350 that was headed southbound, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Watson was pronounced dead at the scene, due to multiple traumas, Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler confirmed. Grand Strand Medical confirms Jones is in serious condition at their facility.

The crash happened in the southbound lanes of Highway 17 Business in Garden City around 11:11 p.m.

With hundreds of thousands of additional vehicles on the roads in town for the Spring Bike Rally, drivers, bikers and pedestrians say they're on alert.

"There's a lot of traffic, the roads aren't that good, they need more turning lanes and it's not good timing with Bike Week," says Joseph Wheeler.

"You definitely have to pay more attention to what's going on, you need to look through all your mirrors and things like that," says Bryan Featherstone.

Law enforcement from every agency is stepping up patrols to handle the influx of traffic on the roads.

Meanwhile, Highway Patrol's multi-disciplinary accident investigation team, or MAIT, is handling Saturday's fatal. They're checking for speed, and whether alcohol played a part.

From there, the findings will be sent to another MAIT team with no knowledge of the accident for a second set of eyes.

SCHP says initial reports indicate that the driver will not be charged. They say the pedestrians were in the roadway and not at a crosswalk and therefore the driver is not at fault.

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