Four male Claflin College students killed in crash on Interstate 77
Columbia — Claflin College is mourning into the weekend after four of their male students were killed in a crash on Interstate 77 southbound near the Killian Road exit.
The Richland County Coroner’s Office said that Melvin Lonell Jackson Jr., of Chester; Darrell Renard Pendergrass of Society Hill; Jamarius Kel’Shawn Bruce of Darlington; and Keeron Q. McElveen of Kingstree were the occupants of a Ford SUV that was destroyed upon contact with vehicles in the northbound lanes of the Interstate after the driver, Mr. Jackson, lost control of the SUV and crossed the median into said lanes around 17:43 Thursday.
That’s when a Toyota sport utility vehicle hit the blue ovaled SUV. Mr. Jackson, Mr. Pendergrass and Mr. McElveen perished immediately upon impact.
Mr. Bruce died of his injuries just before 8:00 EDT.
Claflin University issued this statement today:
“We are hurting and are saddened to hear about the untimely death of three of our students. I call upon the Claflin family to draw closer together and remain strong as we try to comprehend the loss of these members of our Claflin family,” said President Henry N. Tisdale. “Our prayers are also with the families and friends who are connected with the accident victims and with the student who is still in the hospital.”
Claflin held a campus prayer service at noon EDT today at W.V. Middleton Fine Arts Center.