Coroner identifies Lake City High School student hit, killed while walking to school; FSD3 releases statement

Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 3:16 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 3, 2022 at 5:10 PM EDT
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FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Florence County coroner released the name of the high school student who was hit and killed while walking to school on Wednesday morning.

Keith von Lutcken identified the victim as 15-year-old Ja’Quan Cortez.

Florence School District Three confirmed that Cortez was a student at Lake City High School.

The school district released a statement offering a crisis response team to provide counseling services for all the students and staff.

LCHS Principal Terrell Fleming said Cortez was an artistic student always willing to listen to others.

“He was a nice and well-mannered young man who excelled in art,” said LCHS Principal Terrell Fleming. “Although he was quiet, his artwork spoke volumes. His friends remember him as kind and always willing to share a smile or listen when they needed to talk.”

LCHS is working to decide on an appropriate way to remember and memorialize Ja’Quan in the near future.

South Carolina Highway Patrol said the crash happened on U.S. Highway 378 at 6 a.m. on Wednesday.

According to Master Trooper Brian Lee, a 2006 Chevy truck heading east on 378 hit Cortez who was walking along the highway.

SCHP is investigating.