SPARTANBURG Co., S.C. (WSPA) -Troopers are investigating three separate crashes that claimed one man’s life, sent five people to the hospital and ended in an arrest.
The crashes happened just moments apart on the same stretch of I-26 in Spartanburg County.
Corporal Bill Rhyne with the S.C. Highway Patrol said Scott Simpson, 40, of Inman was traveling westbound when he rear ended a vehicle. That crash happened after 11 p.m. Thursday near mile marker 29.
The crash caused the second driver to run off the road and into the median.
Troopers said he was assessing damage to his vehicle when he was hit by another car, knocked into the roadway and struck by a second car.
The coroner identified the victim as Donald Ray Bain, 80, of Spartanburg.
Troopers say Edward Dawson, 39, of Rembert, S.C., struck Bain. Dawson ran off the road and crashed into Bain’s wrecked vehicle. Dawson and four passengers were taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center with injuries.
Bain was knocked into the roadway. He was lying in the road when troopers say he was hit by a second vehicle.
As of Friday morning, no information is known about the second vehicle.
Rhyne said Simpson – the driver responsible for the first crash – left the scene on foot but was soon apprehended.
Simpson is charged with DUI, leaving the scene of a crash and driving under suspension. He wasn’t hurt in the crash.
Rhyne said Simpson’s charges were later upgraded to felony DUI resulting in death and leaving the scene of an accident with death.
Troopers say a 76-year-old woman in Bain’s vehicle also wasn’t injured.
Rhyne said troopers are investigating the second and third crashes.
The accidents led to a shutdown on westbound I-26 for several hours.
Coroner Rusty Clevenger said the exact cause of Bain’s death is pending.