BEECH ISLAND, SOUTH CAROLINA – Officials have ruled the hit-and-run that killed 15-year-old Errik Giles, of Beech Island, on Thursday night as accidental.
Giles is the second Silver Bluff High School student to die in an accident in the last 11 days. The first one was 15-year-old David Crutchfield. Crutchfield was also killed in a hit-and-run, in New Ellenton. On Friday, neighbors of the Beech Island teen told WJBF News Channel 6’s Stefany Bornman they want people to slow down.
People who live off of Hammond Road say it’s always busy because it’s a quick way to get from Atomic Road to Highway 278 or vice versa. Many of them told WJBF News Channel 6 the same thing, there aren’t any posted speed limit signs on Hammond Road.
In the daylight it’s a visible road. “It gets pretty dark on that road over there,” said Danny Rogers a resident of River Bend Drive.
“Yes, you can’t really see that good down that road right there,” Lee Bennett, who also lives on River Bend Drive, told WJBF News Channel 6.
People that live in the neighborhood off of Hammond Road say too often they notice reckless driving.
“And you said people speed down here all the time?” Asked Stefany Bornman. “Oh absolutely. For instance,” Logan Patterson, a resident of River Bend Court, said.
Our crew drove down Hammond Road several times on Friday and we didn’t see any speed limit signs. The people who live in the nearby neighborhood say that’s a huge problem.
“They speed through here like 40 – 50 miles an hour,” said Cody Patterson, a resident of River Bend Court. Patterson told WJBF News Channel 6 he has a toddler and he won’t let his son play outside. “I can’t even let him out the front or back yard… without being worried about him getting hit by a car or anything,” he said.
Cody Patterson and his brother Logan live two houses down from where Errik Giles lived. They say they used to see Giles walking down the road all the time, but that it’s much harder to see after dark. Now, after the 15-year-old’s tragic death these neighbors want change.
“Put posted speed limit sign and you know how they have the share the road they need to put one of those along with some street lights,” Logan Patterson told WJBF News Channel 6.
“At least keep that road, Hammond Road, lit up pretty well at night too because there is a lot of people who go running up and down that road.” Cody Patterson said.
“Put a sidewalk up or some lights,” added Bennett.
Although the hit-and-run that killed Errik Giles was ruled accidental, authorities arrested 34-year-old Ryan Kelly. He is being charged with leaving the scene of an accident.