Fire engine involved in 2-vehicle crash that killed S.C. man

Two Lexington County firefighters were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries


Noah Feit
The State

SWANSEA, S.C. — A Midlands man was killed and two firefighters were injured overnight in a head-on crash involving a fire engine, the Lexington County Coroner's Office said.

Christopher Lykes Sr., died Wednesday, according to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher. The 71-year-old Swansea resident died at the scene, Fisher said.

Lexington County Fire Service Engine 316 was heading back to the station following a non-emergency situation at the time of the crash.
Lexington County Fire Service Engine 316 was heading back to the station following a non-emergency situation at the time of the crash. (Image/Lexington County Fire Service)

The two-vehicle collision happened at about 6:10 p.m. at the intersection of S.C. 6/ St. Matthews Road and Pine Tower Circle, according to Lexington County spokeswoman Jessica Imbimbo. That's in Swansea, about a mile from Swansea High School.

Lexington County Fire Service Engine 316 was heading back to the station following a non-emergency situation, Imbimbo said.

The fire truck was heading east on St. Matthews Road when the 2004 Buick sedan Lykes was driving in the opposite direction crossed the center line, resulting in the collision, according to Master Trooper David Jones of South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Lykes was not wearing a seat belt, Fisher said. He was the only person in the Buick, according to Imbimbo.

Two firefighters were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Imbimbo said. Further information on their conditions was not available.

Both of the firefighters wore seat belts, according to Jones.

No other injuries were reported.

Information about what caused the Buick to veer into oncoming traffic was not available, but the collision is being investigated by Highway Patrol.

Through Wednesday afternoon, 1,002 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2021, state Department of Public Safety data shows. Of those, 669 of the victims had access to seat belts, but 326 were not wearing them, DPS reported.

At least 42 people have been killed in Lexington County crashes in 2021, and 25 of them were not wearing seat belts, DPS reported.

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(c)2021 The State 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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