Fire truck in fatal crash was on way to battle blaze
By Bobby Bryant, Editor
The fire truck involved in a deadly collision with a Kia SUV outside Hartsville April 18 was on its way to fight a fire that broke out at a barn, officials said.
Darlington County Fire District Chief Ricky Flowers said no one was aboard the engine truck except the driver when the SUV collided virtually head-on with the truck about 12:45 a.m. on Ruby Road near Old Camden Road.
The S.C. Highway Patrol said the SUV went left of the center line and hit the fire truck.
Killed in the accident was Christopher McManus, 42, of Batesburg-Leesville, said Darlington County Coroner Todd Hardee.
The patrol said the fire truck’s driver was taken to an area hospital, but Flowers said the driver was not injured. “He’s fine,” Flowers said.
Flowers said the truck was one of the units responding to a structure fire at Happy Days Court near the Hartsville city limits.
A barn had caught fire because of “unattended burning,” the chief said. No one at the scene was hurt, he said.
The fire truck is now unusable, Flowers said; it was “substantially” damaged in the crash.
It was unclear whether the truck could be repaired or would have to be replaced. Flowers said an adjuster was scheduled to make that determination.
The chief said he couldn’t recall a case exactly like this – a direct collision between a fire truck responding to a call and another vehicle.
In 2016, Flowers said, a fire truck had to swerve to avoid a vehicle and overturned.