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Wreck leaves Rock Hill couple dead

A Rock Hill couple was killed late last night in a collision with a truck on South Anderson Road about a mile from their home, officials said.

One of the drivers, Colby Ray Shepherd, 21, previously of Woodvale Road, died on impact from multiple blunt trauma, York County Deputy Coroner Ev Amick said.

His passenger and girlfriend, 21-year-old Melissa Gail Burgess of 630 S. Garrison Road, also died on impact from multiple blunt trauma, Amick said.

Autopsies and toxicology tests are planned for Monday, Amick said.

"He had picked her up from work at the Movie Galley," Amick said. "They were apparently heading home."

Shift Manager Donna Taylor said Burgess worked until about 11 p.m. Saturday. "She was just a beautiful, bright, outgoing person," Taylor said Sunday. "She always had a smile on her face."

Around 11:30 p.m., Shepherd was driving a 1997 white, two-door Saturn north along Cowan Farm Road toward South Anderson Road, said Sgt. Kenyatta Tripp of the Rock Hill Police Department.

Shepherd attempted a left turn onto South Anderson Road, Tripp said.

"They barely missed hitting another driver," Tripp said. "The driver had to slam on brakes."

Shepherd made it across the intersection, where he lost control of the Saturn near the 800 block of Cowan Farm Road and veered into oncoming traffic, Tripp said.

David Poore, 45, of East Main Street was driving a black Chevrolet Silverado truck south along Cowan Farm Road when he hit the passenger door of Shepherd's car, Tripp said.

"He struck them, but he was not a fault," Tripp said about Poore. "They crossed over into oncoming traffic."

According to the report, Shepherd was at fault in the collision. Two witness told police that the Saturn "was being driven in a reckless manner and at a high rate of speed," the report states.

Poore, who wore a seat belt, was transported with minor injuries to Piedmont Medical Center, where he was treated and released, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Burgess and Shepherd were extricated from the car, Tripp said. While Burgess wore a seat belt, Shepherd did not, according to the report.

Officials remained at the scene until 5 a.m. Sunday, Tripp said. The posted speed limit for the area is 35 mph. Officials said Shepherd's estimated speed was 70 mph.

Nearly 12 hours later, a stunned Taylor cried openly at work as she remembered Burgess, who recently was promoted to shift manager.

"She was so excited about being promoted," Taylor said as she waited on customers. "We all loved Melissa. She was a sweet, caring person."

Taylor said Shepherd often rented movies. "He was really a nice guy," she said.

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