Originally created 07/30/06

Across South Carolina



Driver sought in boy's hit-and-run death

COLUMBIA - Authorities are searching for a gold, midsize vehicle whose driver might have information about a hit-and-run that killed a 4-year-old boy last weekend.

"This is not the suspect vehicle," South Carolina Highway Patrol Capt. Leroy Taylor said at a news conference. "They may have a key piece of the puzzle."

The accident happened at 4 a.m. July 22, about 10 miles north of Columbia, authorities said.

Xavier Tobias Moore was pronounced dead at Palmetto Health Richland, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said.

Investigators say they found out about the vehicle, which they think passes through the area frequently in the early morning, from a man who picked Xavier up from the side of the road, thinking the boy was his child.

BMW might move X3 production to Greer

GREENVILLE - German automaker BMW is considering moving some production of its X3 sport utility vehicle to its Greer assembly plant, company officials and a trade publication have said.

Though a shift is "speculative," BMW Manufacturing Co. spokeswoman Bunny Richardson said, "there have been discussions."

The European trade publication Automotive News Europe said BMW is considering sharing the load for its second-generation X3, which will be launched about 2010.

The Greer plant makes the company's X5 SUV and Z4 roadster.

Engineer says wreck cause was electrical

GREENVILLE - Electromagnetic interference caused the sudden acceleration of the Ford Explorer involved in a 1999 wreck that killed one woman and left another a quadriplegic, according to testimony from an engineer in a lawsuit against the automaker and other companies.

Electrical engineering consultant Antony Anderson gave demonstrations in testimony of electromagnetic interference.

The lawsuits against Ford Motor Co., TRW Vehicle Safety Systems Inc. and D&D Motors Inc. question the vehicle's occupant restraint system, electronic cruise control, vehicle body and chassis.

Plaintiff attorneys have said the vehicle accelerated and "took off" on Interstate 385 in Laurens County. Defense attorneys have said the two women weren't wearing seat belts during the wreck.

Chairman criticizes response to fuel spill

BEAUFORT - A fuel spill into the May River from a sunken landing craft, though deemed not a health threat by environmental officials, led Beaufort County Council Chairman Weston Newton to fire off a letter to state and federal authorities Friday.

The letter encouraged assessment of Wednesday's response to the spill.

Mr. Newton said Department of Health and Environmental Control employees weren't deployed soon enough.

The vessel reportedly sank Monday, "but the owner did not notify any authority until late Wednesday," Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic said.

- Edited from wire reports