Vigil planned for Cherokee Co. firefighter killed in motorcycle crash


CHEROKEE CO., S.C. (WSPA) – A volunteer firefighter is dead after a motorcycle crash that happened on Oak Grove Road, near York Road, in Blacksburg, according to the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office.

The accident happened at about 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.

The victim has been identified as 19-year-old James Derrick Henson, Jr.

Henson was driving a 2015 Harley Davidson motorcycle and was headed east on Oak Grove Road.  7News learned he has just bought the bike within the last two weeks.

He was struck head-on by a 25-year-old woman driving a 2010 Honda Accord and heading west.

According to S.C. Highway Patrol, the woman crossed the center line, struck Henson head-on, and then ran off the right side of the road and into a fence.

Henson was ejected from his motorcycle.

He was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident but was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the coroner.

Captain Jerry Pera told 7News “He did many things with his life but whether it was two in the morning or four in the afternoon, we were climbing the fire truck going to a call, Derrick was running the door saying hey wait for me. Derrick is one of a kind.”

An autopsy has been scheduled for Monday morning.

The 25-year-old woman was injured and taken by EMS to Mary Black of Gaffney.

She had a juvenile passenger in the car at the time of the accident, but they were not injured.

Troopers say there may be charges but the investigation is still ongoing.

The Cherokee County Coroner’s Office and Highway Patrol are investigating.

The Blacksburg Volunteer Fire Department posted their condolences on their Facebook page, saying Henson was a fellow firefighter.

The fire department announced a candle light vigil for 7 p.m. Monday, as well as these funeral arrangements:“Receiving of Friends” will be Thursday from 6-8pm.  The funeral will be Friday at 3:00pm.  Both services will be held at Nazareth Baptist Church in Blacksburg. It’s located at 1156 Ninety Nine Island Road. 

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