Lancaster boy, 12, killed riding bike

LANCASTER -- A 12-year-old Heath Springs bicyclist has died after he was struck by a sport utility vehicle, authorities said.

James Monroe Steele of 1788 Baskins Hill Road in Heath Springs died Friday evening from injuries sustained during the wreck, Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Marie Broome said.

Around 4 p.m., James was riding a bicycle along Baskins Hill Road when he rode into the path of an SUV driven by a Liberty Hill man headed north on S.C. 552, Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson of the S.C. Highway Patrol said.

"He (the driver) swerved left to avoid the boy," Johnson said.

The bicycle also moved to the left before it was struck, he said.

James was airlifted to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia, where he later died, Johnson said.

Authorities did not cite the driver in the incident, Johnson said.

The driver and two passengers received minor injuries but were not transported to the hospital, Johnson said. Each wore a seat belt, he said.

As of Thursday, 833 people had died on state roadways this year, according to the state highway safety office. That's up from 813 people through the same time last year.