4 killed in area wrecks

Two people died in wrecks on York County roads Sunday, while another person died in a Lancaster County collision.

In the first incident, Stephen Thomas, 23, of Rock Hill had been canoeing with friends and was about two minutes from home at about 3 a.m. when he was killed and his childhood friend critically injured in a wreck on Porter Road.

Andrew Blackwood, 24, of Rock Hill remained in critical condition at Carolinas Medical Center on Sunday evening, a nursing supervisor said. Thomas, who lived at 267 Springdale Road, was transported from the scene of the accident to Piedmont Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, said Lt. Dart Raymes of the Rock Hill Police Department.

Details of the crash were limited Sunday, but Raymes said the two Rock Hill men were traveling "at a high rate of speed" when their vehicle ran off the road and hit a utility pole in the 400 block of Porter Road. Neither man was wearing a seat belt, and both were ejected. Alcohol also was a factor, Raymes said.

Thomas and Blackwood had been good friends since attending Castle Heights Middle School together, said Thomas's sister, Sommer Thomas. Thomas graduated from Rock Hill High School several years ago and had been working as a truck driver for a construction crew, she said.

"He wasn't a real serious guy," the sister said. "He liked to be goofy and funloving. He was thinking about taking up skateboarding again. He loved being around his friends."

Thomas said her brother had gone canoeing with friends on Saturday. Both men had been at a popular local night spot Saturday night before heading home early Sunday, she said.

In addition to his sister, Thomas is survived by a 16-month-old son, Tyler Ross Thomas, and his mother, Debbie Clark.

Arrangements are being handled by Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel.

Details about the other two wrecks also were limited Sunday evening, and authorities were withholding names pending notification of family.

The Lancaster County wreck occurred at about 2:15 p.m. Sunday when a group was bicycling up U.S. 521 toward Waxhaw, N.C. Two of the bicyclists were struck by a car near Steele Hill Church, according to Lancaster County medics. Thomas Hoskins, 49, of Columbia was pronounced dead at the scene, said Lancaster County Coroner Mike MorrisLee Anne Barry, founder of the B.I.G. Ride, was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte and died around 6 p.m., said her husband Ben Barry, of Waxhaw, N.C.

Later, a Charlotte man died in a motorcycle wreck that occurred at about 4:20 p.m. at Jim McCarter and Tom Joye roads near Clover, a spokesman for the S.C. Highway Patrol said. No other details were available Sunday evening.