Originally created 05/11/02

Accidents kill two men in Aiken County



MONETTA - Two elderly men, one from Aiken, died Friday in auto accidents in Aiken County.

A 75-year-old Gaston man died after he was pinned underneath his truck on a lot at a church retreat center south of Monetta, said Aiken County Deputy Coroner Tim Carlton.

S.V. Tucker had loaded an oven onto the bed of his Chevrolet truck from a manufactured home. After driving up a slight incline, Mr. Tucker got out and walked behind the truck, which then rolled back and hit him, Mr. Carlton said.

The caretaker of the D. Moody Gunter Retreat Center, which is operated by the South Carolina Church of the Nazarene, found Mr. Tucker at about 6 p.m.

The caretaker, the Rev. Dennis Johnson, was Mr. Tucker's former pastor of 18 years at Pelion Church of the Nazarene.

He said Mr. Tucker was a retired banana truck driver who was blind in one eye, but who still offered help with small jobs at the retreat.

"He just couldn't sit still," the Rev. Johnson said.

In the other accident, Dr. Martin H. Zwerling, 76, of Aiken, died at about 3:15 p.m. when his 2000 Nissan Xterra ran off the road near his home on Wire Road, close to the intersection of Bacon Road.

He was northbound when his vehicle went off the right side of the road. He overcorrected and lost control, skidding off the left side of the road, said the South Carolina Highway Patrol. He died at the scene.

Dr. Zwerling's sport utility vehicle rolled over at least one time. He was wearing his seat belt. Mr. Carlton said that the cause of death has not yet been determined and that an autopsy is scheduled for today.

Authorities said they are checking to see whether a medical condition could have caused the accident.

Reach Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1395 or matthew.boedy@augustachronicle.com.