LAURENS Co., SC (WSPA) – Troopers are investigating a deadly crash that claimed the lives of a man and two young children and sent another person to the hospital.
The crash happened around 1:35 p.m. Monday on Neely Ferry Road near Lollis Road, a little more than three miles from the town of Laurens.
Lance Cpl. Gary Miller with the S.C. Highway Patrol said the driver of a 1996 Chevrolet pickup went off the right side of the road, over-corrected and went off the left side of the road and struck a tree.
The driver and two passengers died at the scene.
The coroner identified the driver as 67-year-old Lonnie Owens of Clinton.
The children, one boy and one girl, have been identified as 6-year-old Rashun Mims and 3-year-old Lashauna Mims.
They are both from Clinton as well.
Another passenger in the pickup, identified as Israel Miller, was airlifted to Greenville Memorial Hospital, according to troopers.
No one in the pickup was reportedly wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
Rashun Mims was a kindergarten student at Eastside Elementary School where additional counselors will be available Tuesday after the deadly accident.
Laurens School District 56 Superintendent David O’Shields said administrators are working with school personnel to arrange for additional counselors at the school on Tuesday. He asked the community to please keep the family and school in their prayers.
Superintendent O’Shields also released this statement Monday in response to the fatal crash:
“Today, the school has had numerous ministers and guidance counselors on hand for students and staff alike. You see, one of the most beautiful aspects of Clinton and our school district is that so many people genuinely care about others.
The death of one of our children is very hard on so many different levels. Our community and district are truly an extended family. When one hurts, we all do. We stand by the family as they sort through the grief and we stand by our faculty and staff as they deal with the loss.
Not only was Rashun and his sister taken suddenly and tragically, but also Mr. Lonnie Owens, a mainstay, fixture, father, and grandfather in our community. We in Laurens 56 grieve on so many levels for the hurts so many are experiencing now.
We request prayers for comfort, peace, understanding, and solace even when, at the moment, there is little to be found.”