Four people lost their lives early Saturday when their vehicle, a Cadillac SUV, veered off a narrow road on James Island in South Carolina, colliding with a locally infamous tree known as “The Widowmaker.” The accident occurred in the early hours, shortly after 1 a.m., in a section of the road notorious for its danger and the ominous presence of the deadly tree.
The four passengers in the SUV, who were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, were tragically ejected from the vehicle and succumbed to their injuries. The authorities have not yet released their identities to the public. In a slightly fortunate turn amidst the misfortune, the driver of the vehicle, who was also not wearing a seat belt, miraculously survived the crash, albeit with serious injuries. The driver was promptly transported to a local hospital for treatment.
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As the investigation into this heart-wrenching incident unfolds, early reports indicate that no other vehicles were involved in the crash. At this stage, law enforcement officials have not filed any criminal charges related to the accident.
The accident site, located south of James Island County Park, is characterized by its narrow two-lane configuration, flanked by dense trees. Among these trees stands the infamous “The Widowmaker,” a tree that has gained a grim reputation over the years. Situated at the beginning of a bend for southbound vehicles, the tree is adorned with reflectors and a sign bearing its nickname, a grim reminder of the perils of the road. The speed limit in this area is set at 40 mph (64 kph), a precautionary measure that underlines the treacherous nature of this stretch.
This catastrophic event serves as a somber reminder of the importance of road safety measures, particularly in areas known for their hazardous conditions. As the local community mourns the loss of the four individuals, questions linger about the measures in place to prevent such tragedies on this notorious section of the road.