N.C. woman killed in I-77 wreck

A North Carolina woman was killed and six other people, including three children, were thrown from an SUV in a Tuesday afternoon wreck that backed up traffic on Interstate 77 for five hours.

Alice Mouzone, 53, of Thomasville, N.C., who was a passenger in the SUV, died at the scene from head injuries, York County interim Coroner Sabrina Gast said.

Six other passengers, including the three children and the driver, were ejected from the vehicle, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the S.C. Highway Patrol. Two children were in the cargo section of the vehicle and were taken to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte after the wreck.

Shakira Bradley, 5, was listed in fair condition Tuesday night, a hospital spokeswoman said. No condition was available for the other children, 3-year-old Serenity Bradley or 4-year old Alfonzo Gipson, the spokeswoman said.

Erica Mouzone, 27, also of Thompsonville, was airlifted to CMC, where she was listed in stable condition late Tuesday, a hospital spokeswoman said.

The wreck happened around 4:10 p.m. near Carowinds Boulevard, about 100 feet from the state line, McDougald said. Lindsey White, 17, of Tega Cay was driving south along I-77 in a 1999 Chevrolet van.

Erica Mouzone and her passengers also were traveling south along the interstate when the vehicles collided, overturning the SUV with its seven passengers, McDougald said.

Everyone in the SUV except for Alice Mouzone was ejected.

Alice Mouzone appeared to be the only occupant of the SUV wearing a seat belt, McDougald said. None of the children were in safety seats, he said.

"There were seven occupants in the vehicle that was equipped with five seat belts," McDougald said.

White, the driver of the van, wore her seat belt. Neither she nor her passenger were injured, McDougald said.

"The exact cause of the collision and contributing factors are still under investigation," said McDougald, who added the wreck is being reconstructed.

As officials worked at the accident scene, southbound motorists were rerouted to the emergency lane, McDougald said. Traffic was backed up until after 9 p.m., and the lanes reopened around 9:10 p.m., he said.

Highway safety officials consider the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day as the 100 deadliest days of the year in South Carolina because of highway fatalities. As of Monday, 525 people had died on South Carolina roads this year, according to the state highway safety office. That's up from 494 people who had died on state roads through the same time last year.