MAXTON — A two-vehicle accident on U.S. 501 on Thursday killed four people, including a Scotland County man, and injured a fifth.
According to a report by Trooper Jeremy Miles of the state Highway Patrol, a Kia Sol was traveling east on U.S. 501 when it drifted left of the center line and struck head-on a Ford Mustang traveling west on the highway. The Mustang came to a rest in the middle of the highway, and the Kia, which caught on fire, in a roadside ditch.
All three occupants of the Kia were killed, as well as the driver of the Mustang, Cristopher George Locklear, 44, who lived on Pressley Lane in Laurinburg. Patrick Shawn Lee, 44, of McColl, S.C., a passenger in the Mustang, was flown to McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, S.C., for treatment and was in critical condition. Both were wearing seat belts.
The names of the three people who died in the Kia were not released on Friday as next of kin were still being notified. Sgt. Phillip Collins, who provided the information from Miles’ report, to The Robesonian, said it was unclear if they were weating seat belts because of the fire.
“It’s not the worst accident I have seen,” said Collins, who has worked for the patrol for 23 years, “but it’s right up there.”
Locklear is a native of McColl, and his Facebook bio lists him as the owner of Chris’ Auto-body Shop in that town.
Friends and family expressed their grief on social media.
“So many memories growing up, can’t believe I’m writing and seeing RIP Chris Locklear. You will truly be missed. Things will never be the same on Polston Street again without you at the garage,” wrote Lynn Cummings on Facebook.
Lee’s Facebook page was flooded with well wishes for his recovery.
“Please keep my family in mind today. Prayers are appreciated for my cousin Patrick Lee. He’s a fighter and we are all pulling for him to have a full recovery,” wrote Keith Todd.
The accident, which occurred at 8:03 p.m., destroyed both vehicles. Miles’ accident report did not indicate what caused the Kia to drift out of its lane.
The accident happened about six miles east of Maxton.