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Freak accident claims life Print E-mail

A Bamberg County woman lost her life in the city of Bamberg in a single car accident Saturday night May 2, transporting her sick child to the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital.

According to Bamberg County Coroner Willard “Billy” Duncan, Catherine Octavia Lee 20 of 1922 Kearse Road, Ehrhardt South Carolina was pronounced dead at the Bamberg County Hospital of injuries she sustained in a single car accident at the intersection of highway 78 and 301 in the Hardees Parking lot in Bamberg at 9:08 pm May 2. Duncan stated that Lee’s body was taken to MUSC in Charleston for an autopsy. According to a Bamberg City Police Department report issued Monday morning, Bamberg units were notified by central dispatch that Lee had called to advise law enforcement that she was coming to town driving a Pontiac (later described in the report as a 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix) with her emergency flashers on because her baby was having a seizure.

The report stated that Bamberg County Deputy Sandra Tavanis was near the intersection and witnessed when Lee failed to make the turn (presumably due to excessive speed) on to Main Highway and drove up on the curbing temporarily going airborne and striking the guide wire supporting a power pole. According to the report, the pole was broken from the top and pulled down on to Lee’s vehicle with the wire. A portion of the pole struck the top of the vehicle. Lee’s vehicle came to rest on some shrubbery in the Hardee’s parking lot.

The report stated that Lee had a seatbelt over her but it was not fastened. Lee’s child was restrained in a child seat in the rear passenger side of the vehicle and wasn’t injured.

The Bamberg Fire Department Personnel used the “Jaws of Life” to extract Lee and her child from the badly damaged car and performed CPR to save her life.

The Bamberg Fire Department, Bamberg Police Department, Bamberg Fire Department Extraction Unit, Bamberg Sheriff’s Department, Bamberg Rescue Squad, Bamberg Coroner’s Office, and the South Carolina Highway Patrol responded to the scene.

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