4 Claflin students die in head-on Interstate 77 wreck


KILLIAN, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina troopers say four people have died after the SUV they were in crossed the median of Interstate 77 near Columbia and slammed into oncoming traffic.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts in a Friday news released identified the dead as the driver, 21-year-old Melvin Jackson Jr. of Chester; along with passengers 21-year-old Darrell Pendergrass of Society Hill; 18-year-old Keeron McElveen of Kingstree and 19-year-old Jamarius Bruce of Darlington.

Claflin University says all four were students.

The school is offering counseling and opening its chapel in Orangeburg for prayer and reflection.

Troopers say they are still investigating why the SUV crossed the median near the Killian Road exit around 5:40 p.m. Thursday.

A person in the vehicle that was hit head-on by the SUV was taken to the hospital.

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