Four S.C. Deaths Blamed On Irma

One death reported in Upstate

Patrick Gentry
September 12, 2017 - 4:48 pm

The Abbeville County Coroner's Office said they were called to a weather-related death on Monday.

The coroner said around 3 p.m., Charles Robert Saxon, 57, was clearing a fallen limb on South Hampton Avenue when another limb fell on him.

He death was ruled accidental. An autopsy is scheduled for noon Tuesday.

Authorities say Irma has caused a fourth death in South Carolina when a city worker drove off the road during heavy rains.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson says 48-year-old Arthur Strudwick died after a single-vehicle crash Monday night.

Columbia police said they believe weather was a factor. Police said it appears Strudwick lost control of his pickup truck and went off the road, striking a tree, during windy and rainy conditions.

Wilson says Strudwick was pronounced dead at a hospital. The worker for the forestry division of the city’s Public Works Department had been on his way to help with a downed tree when he crashed.

Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley said 57-year-old Charles Saxon was cleaning limbs and debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls around 3 p.m. Monday when a limb fell on him.

Ashely said Saxon died at the scene.

The National Weather Service says winds in the area were gusting to around 40 mph at the time Saxon was killed.

Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said 21-year-old Zhen Tain died in a crash on Interstate 77 south of Columbia around 3:15 p.m. Monday.

Troopers say Tain crashed into another car and his Ford Mustang flipped, trapping him inside. Authorities say the second driver was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not released.

The National Weather Service says there was heavy rain in Columbia with wind gusts around 40 mph when the wreck happened.

Smith says Tain was driving too fast for conditions.

Sumter County Coroner Robert Baker Jr. says 54-year-old William McBride was pronounced dead Tuesday of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Baker says McBride had been running a generator inside his mobile home for at least several hours, with only a single window cracked for ventilation.

Baker says power was knocked out in some parts of the county at around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Baker says McBride's sons found him Tuesday morning and called authorities.


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