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After three deadly crashes, residents raise concerns about South Carolina Hwy. 61

Reporter Erica Lunsford came across this crash on Sunday. (WCIV)

In the past two weeks, there have been three deadly crashes on South Carolina Hwy. 61.

Running through the Ashley River Historic District and Summerville, it's a scenic route that locals and tourist take each day.

A two-car collision claimed the life of 53-year-old Willie Louis Brown Jr. in Dorchester County on Saturday.

Another deadly accident happened near the Magnolia Garden Plantation February 4.

And a 36-year-old Round O man also died after running off the highway and hitting a tree on January 29.

Steve Arato lives with his family off the busy highway, and says it has claimed the lives of many who have traveled it.

“It’s really, really unsafe. It’s not the trees, it’s not the road per say, but the people who travel it. Just follow the rules, you’re not gonna like them, but if you don’t follow them, people die.”

Arato feels the only solution to stopping deadly accidents is for law enforcement to hand out more tickets for speeding along the nearly 70-mile stretch that runs through Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, and Bamburg Counties.

“Everyone has an opinion on it, widen the roads, cut the trees, but really what it boils down to is that you have to read the number on the sign and stay below the speed limit and that’s really all it would take.”

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, statistics show at least 18 people have died in crashes on Hwy. 61 between 2012 and 2017.


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