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Fatal Wreck Begins 'Deadliest Weekend' of Year

Late night wreck in Dorchester County kills one.

ST. GEORGE — A man died on Horse Trail Road between I-95 and Highway 15 early Saturday morning when his pickup ran off the road, he overcorrected and hit a tree.

Joshua Sweatman, 19, of St. George was killed from a cervical spine fracture due to being ejected from the vehicle, the Dorchester County coroner reported. According to S.C. Highway Patrol, Sweatman was not wearing a seatbelt. He was travelling north toward the interstate.

According to a Facebook profile that matches the victim's description, Sweatman graduated from Summerville High in 2011, and was a welder with Detyens Shipyard. 

Labor Day weekend has been called one of the deadliest weekends of the year. According to SafeMotorist.com, one of the first days in September is in the top 10 deadliest days of the year on the roads.

This weekend, Highway Patrol and State Transport Police will place a special emphasis on interstate travel as motorists enjoy one last summer holiday. The State Transport Police will focus on commercial motor vehicle safety and compliance. Last year, seven people died over the 102-hour Labor Day weekend.

S.C. Department of Public Safety is wrapping up its 100 Days of Summer Campaign, focusing on safety. Results of that campaign may be the 33 fewer fatalities over the last 100 days, compared with 2011 data.

As of Aug. 29, there have been 523 fatalities this year compared to 542 last year.

“We want travelers to be aware that we will saturate congested areas of interstates with enforcement to prevent any further summer tragedies,” SCHP Col. Mike Oliver said. “I will be out there, along with my command staff and troopers who are normally assigned to administrative office duties. Our goal is for motorists to see us and adjust their driving behavior accordingly.”

Updated 10:15 a.m. Sept. 1 to add information from the coroner. 

maizenbluedoc September 01, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Another fatality that probably was preventable by wearing a seat belt. Also, it is obvious that today's drivers aren't taught proper driving techniques. Many of the deaths are caused by running off the road, then overcorrecting and subsequent crashes. All drivers should be required to enroll in a driver's educaion class before obtaining their license to drive.
M M September 01, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Its a shame he lost his life. However, it is already a law maizenbluedoc to wear your seat belt. He chose not to obey this law, so why impose more laws and rules for people who do obey the law. Having to enroll in drivers ed classes only imposes more of a hardship on those of who do obey the rules, financially and otherwise. Stop punishing and imposing "MORE" laws for those of us who obey the laws. Im sorry for his family's loss
charles dean cooke September 01, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Seems to me that "Tail Gaitors" would be a target for the police. They seem to be the bases for alot of accidents. And, for some reason in SC, we have an ability to try and drive through stopped vehicles at intersections and cars stopped for others to turn off of a two lane road. I beg for the Hiway Patrol to target them. I personally have been hit from behind five times, and am injured, suffering from pain in my lower half. And, that will be with me for the rest of my life. The good part is I'm 69 years of age, and I only have so many years left to suffer.
Richard Hippey September 01, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Not the 1st to die on this 1.4 mile race track. The speed is posted 40mph, but 65mph is the norm. This road is called Horse Trail Road for a reason, it is made up primarily of Horse Farms/Ranches. But no one cares, not even the police departments, as the speed limit on this road is NOT ENFORCED! There have been dealths on this raod in the past, even the Sweatman Family lost a young child near the same location they los Joshua. What does it Take, to get the Police to do their jobs, BEFORE loss of life!
Walter Drenkhahn September 01, 2012 at 08:36 PM
If people don't follow the laws for speeds and driving, the police can't enforce all laws everywhere, the only people who loss are the ones left behind because of decisions that were made by the victims, don't blame others
Linda Mason December 31, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I witnessed the accident. I blame myself for everything that happened ... I do miss him. We were close and loved to judge eachothers art. His always won. He was a great guy.I love him

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