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Lancaster wreck kills woman

LANCASTER -- A Kershaw County woman died Thursday after her car slammed into the back of a flatbed truck along S.C. 903, authorities said.

Mary S. Ross, 51, of Kershaw died at the scene, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Ross died from head and chest trauma, Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris said. No autopsy is planned, he said.

The driver of the truck, John Truesdale, 25, was taken by ambulance to Springs Memorial Hospital, where he was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Around 8 a.m., Truesdale stopped his 1973 full-size Chevrolet flatbed truck and waited for traffic to clear before he attempted to turn left into a private driveway off S.C. 903, about eight miles east of Lancaster, McDougald said.

Ross, who drove a white 2004 Kia Optima west on S.C. 903, struck the truck in the rear and veered off the road, McDougald said.

Neither Truesdale nor Ross wore seat belts, McDougald said. Officials had to extricate Ross from the car, he said.

Neither alcohol nor speed played a role in Thursday's wreck, McDougald said, and no charges are pending.

The wreck marks the second fatality this week on S.C. 903. On Sunday, 6-year-old Creigan Steele was driving an all-terrain vehicle near the highway, about 12 miles east of Lancaster, when she drove in front of a car, officials said. The driver could not stop in time, officials said.

Steele, who did not wear a helmet, died about an hour after the collision.

The period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is considered the deadliest time of the year on South Carolina roadways because of the number of fatalities.

As of Wednesday, 550 people had died on the state's roads this year, according to the state highway safety office. That's up from 519 people who died on state roads through the same time last year.

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