Originally created 09/26/00

Across the area

Jenkins County sheriff, wife hurt

MILLEN - Jenkins County Sheriff Bobby Womack and his wife, Helen, were injured in a two-vehicle wreck near Millen on Sunday.

The Womacks were taken to Jenkins County Hospital and then transported to Medical College of Georgia Hospital. Sheriff Womack was in serious condition Monday afternoon, and Mrs. Womack was in good condition, hospital spokeswoman Sandra Oak said.

Mrs. Womack was driving a truck north on Georgia Highway 21 at about 1:15 p.m. with the sheriff and Amber Womack, 8, as passengers. She was behind a vehicle that turned right onto Bay Branch Road, where Eula Mae McGee, 90, had stopped. Ms. McGee apparently did not see Mrs. Womack's truck and pulled into its path, said a spokesman with the Georgia State Patrol post in Sylvania.

Mrs. Womack swerved to avoid Ms. McGee's car but struck the right rear end and flipped over, the spokesman said.

Ms. McGee was treated and released from Jenkins County Hospital, and Amber did not require treatment, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Two killed in car accident

BATESBURG-LEESVILLE - Two people died and a third person was seriously injured when their car overturned and struck a utility pole early Monday on U.S. Highway 178, Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman said.

The driver, David Alphonso Leaphart, 28, of Monetta, and a passenger, Ridell Greene, 17, of Batesburg-Leesville, died at the scene, the coroner said.

A second passenger, Wade Lamar Brannon, 31, of Trenton, was partially ejected from the vehicle. He was listed in serious condition at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, a spokeswoman said.

The two who died were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the 1993 Ford Mustang, South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Kelley Hughes said. Wearing seat belts could have saved their lives, he said.

Investigators do not know what caused the Ford Mustang to lose control. Evidence indicates the driver crossed left of center and jerked the car back into the right lane, causing it to go off the road and strike the utility pole, Lance Cpl. Hughes said.

Trapped toddler in good condition

The condition of a North Augusta toddler who was trapped underwater between two boats at Augusta Riverwalk Marina for about five minutes Sunday was upgraded to good at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Monday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Brooke Westall, 2, fell from a family boat at the marina while playing with an older sister. Family members and bystanders searched for the girl, and when they found her minutes later she was not breathing. A paramedic revived her using CPR.

Woman hospitalized after crash

An afternoon accident on Interstate 20 sent a South Carolina woman to the hospital with head injuries.

The accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Monday near mile marker 189, said Capt. Steve Morris of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office.

Jimmy Lee Blount, 42, of the 3000 block of Gray Fox Drive, Hephzibah, was driving a dump truck in the eastbound lane when the back of his truck was hit by a 2001 Ford Explorer.

The driver of the Explorer, Michael D. Jones of Sullivan, S.C., was charged with following too close, Capt. Morris said.

His wife, Melania Jones, was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she was in serious condition Monday night, hospital spokeswoman Sandra Oak said.

Man stabbed at church meeting

ALBANY - A 16-year-old is accused of taking a butcher knife to church Sunday and stabbing the man who was dating his ex-girlfriend.

The teen-ager, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was being held Monday at a youth detention center after a hearing in Juvenile Court, Albany Police Cpl. Carmelita Preston said. He is charged with aggravated assault and weapons violations.

The victim, 20-year-old Gregory Bishop, was in serious condition Monday at Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany.

Mr. Bishop was stabbed in the back and lower abdomen while attending a youth meeting Sunday afternoon at Southside Baptist Church, police Sgt. David Smith said.

Relative arrested in assault

NORTH CHARLESTON - An 11-year-old girl was sexually assaulted and stabbed, and police have arrested a 37-year-old male relative.

The man held police at bay Saturday night as he held a knife to the girl's throat in a bathroom, police Capt. William Barfield said.

The man stabbed the girl in the arm and leg and let her leave shortly after police arrived, according to an arrest warrant. She was treated at the Medical University of South Carolina Hospital in Charleston.

The man, whose name was not released to protect the girl's identity, was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and assault and battery with intent to kill.

The girl told police the man forced her inside the bathroom at knife point and sexually assaulted her, according to sworn statements filed in court.

Deaths may be murder-suicide

PENDLETON - Two people have been found dead in an apartment in Pendleton, and Anderson County officials say the shootings appear to have been a murder-suicide.

The bodies of Thomas Demar Littlejohn Jr., 24, of Gaffney, and his ex-girlfriend, Tashauna Gardner, 25, of Anderson, were found by Mr. Littlejohn's roommate at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday.

Autopsies on Sunday showed both died from a single gunshot wound to the head in a manner consistent with a murder-suicide, Coroner Greg Shore said.

Ms. Gardner had obtained a restraining order against Mr. Littlejohn after they broke up three months ago, officials said.

Family members said she had complained of being stalked by Mr. Littlejohn, a senior at Clemson University.

Ms. Gardner's mother, Bobbie, filed a missing person report Saturday morning after getting suspicious when her daughter failed to call her as promised.


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