Woman killed in collision with 18-wheeler

A 49-year old Bamberg woman was killed when the vehicle she was driving crashed head-on into a tractor-trailer truck Wednesday afternoon. The deceased was identified as Mary Elizabeth Salley of 43 Clark St. by Bamberg County Coroner Willard “Billy” Duncan.

Lance Cpl. Billy Elder, a spokesman for the S.C. Highway Patrol, said the wreck occurred on U.S. 78 about a mile west of the city of Bamberg at approximately 5:15 p.m. A section of Highway 78 was closed for approximately four hours after the accident.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Salley was driving east in a 2006 Ford Taurus when her vehicle went left of center, colliding head-on with a westbound 2010 International truck pulling an empty flatbed trailer. The driver of the truck, 33-year-old Demetrius Evans of 4881 Galleon Crossing, Decatur, Georgia, was not injured, according to the SCHP.

Rescue personnel on the scene noted that Evans, the driver of the 18-wheeler said that he did ever thing in his power to avoid the accident, but “there was nothing he could do.”

Salley was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. The city of Bamberg Fire Department Extrication Unit used the “jaws of life” to extract Salley from the Ford Taurus. Salley was wearing a seat belt according to reports.

Devastated! Is the word Cathy Self, former director of the First Baptist Church of Denmark Day Care Center for 29-years and now the finance director, used to describe the feelings of the many parents of children that Salley “ministered to” over her 11-year career as a child care worker at the center. Self said that parents called the day care center all morning on Thursday to express their sorrow upon learning of Salley’s death.

Self said Mary Elizabeth Salley touched many lives in her 11-years at the center; “She was so loved and respected, she kept the babies,” Self said. “They trusted her, she loved on them. She was dependable and hardworking. She loved her job, her babies and her Lord. She was a wonderful person who will be greatly missed,” Self said.