Originally created 07/11/01

Traffic fatalities surpass last year

AIKEN - An Aiken woman was killed Wednesday morning in an accident on South Carolina Highway 302 North, pushing the county's traffic-fatality count past last year's 12-month mark.

Misty Marie Brady, 20, was a passenger in a 1999 Nissan pickup truck when she grabbed the steering wheel and slammed her foot on the accelerator, causing driver Donald Harvey to run off the road, said Deputy Coroner Tim Carlton. The woman was ejected from the vehicle in the resulting crash. The accident occurred about 4:40 a.m.

Mr. Harvey, 41, was treated for a fractured ankle at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.

The driver told authorities he was lecturing Ms. Brady on her life when she tried to take control of the truck and eventually attempted to jump from the moving vehicle.

Because of the unusual circumstances of the fatality, an autopsy was performed Wednesday afternoon in Newberry. The results were not immediately available.

No charges have been filed.

The traffic fatality is the 22nd this year in Aiken County. There were 21 in 2000.

"We are six months to go, and we've already surpassed last year's numbers," Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said. "And I'm not just talking numbers, I'm talking lives. It is devastating to me, and I just wish people would pay attention.

"I wish we didn't have to have laws to tell us how to drive. If we would just use our common sense and think about ourselves and the people in our car, I know we could make a difference."

Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (803) 279-6895 or greg.rickabaugh@augustachronicle.com.


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