CHESTER -- Quentavious LaDarron Hemphill planned to pose with his family for a portrait Saturday. Then, the 19-year-old sailor was set to return today to Virginia after a brief leave.
Instead, the 2006 Rock Hill High School graduate died Friday night in a single-car collision in Chester County.
Hemphill, affectionately known as "Slim" and "Quent," died from head and chest injuries, Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker said.
Hemphill's death marks the first traffic fatality this year for Chester County, Tinker said.
Never miss a local story.
Passengers Dale Hoyles, 19, and Marcus Byers, 18, both of Rock Hill, were transported to Springs Memorial Hospital in Lancaster, Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson of the S.C. Highway Patrol said.
Hoyles was seen and released, a hospital spokesman said.
Byers was transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where he was listed in serious condition Saturday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
On Saturday, Hemphill's family clung to memories of their son and brother, who was an avid Dallas Cowboys fan.
"He was always smiling," said Kevin Nichols, Hemphill's father. "He was a wonderful son."
Hemphill had served in the Navy for a year and was in Rock Hill on a two-week leave, Nichols said. Father and son last spoke around 5 p.m. Friday. Later, Hemphill attended a Great Falls High School basketball game.
Hemphill was on his way home when the wreck happened, Nichols said.
Around 9 p.m., Hemphill was driving north along S.C. 99 about a mile from Great Falls when his 2002 Mazda left the right side of the road in a curve and struck a tree, Johnson said.
Hemphill, who did not wear a seat belt, was ejected through the car's sun roof and died at the scene, Johnson said.
Hoyles and Byers wore seat belts, Johnson said.
The posted speed limit for the area was 55 mph. Officials have not determined Hemphill's speed, Johnson said.
On Saturday, Nichols shared a picture of Hemphill dressed in his Navy finest, and Patrice Nichols spoke in hushed tones about her son who made a mother's heart proud.
"He loved life," she said.