Teen killed in Oconee Co. single-car crash

OCONEE CO., SC (WSPA) – A Seneca teen was killed in a crash Sunday morning in Oconee County, according to the SC Highway Patrol and Oconee County Coroner’s Office.

Highway Patrol says the crash was reported around 7:45 a.m. on US Hwy 76 near Johnny Cox Rd., just north of Westminster.

The Oconee County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as 18-year-old Cole Dylan Wheeler.

The coroner says Wheeler died from smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

The manner of death was ruled as accidental.

Wheeler was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the collision, reports the Highway Patrol. He reportedly ran off the left side of the road, hit a guardrail, went down an embankment, and into a tree.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Highway Patrol reports that the driver was wearing their seatbelt when the crash happened.

The coroner’s office reports an investigation into the crash determined that the victim had attended an after-prom party in the Long Creek area but did not attend the prom since he’d previously graduated.

Toxicology tests will be handled at the SLED laboratory as standard procedure, though initial reports state that alcohol is believed to be a factor in the crash, states the coroner’s office.

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