Catawba man killed in auto accident

CATAWBA -- A 19-year-old Catawba man died Friday in a single-vehicle collision, officials said.

Jerry "Junior" Dean Sexton Jr. died from injuries he received in the collision, said York County interim coroner Sabrina Gast.

A toxicology test will be completed, Gast said.

Sexton, of 144 Old Friendship Road, was the son of Ervin "Buggs" Daniel Ratterree Jr., a Catawba man who won $1 million in December after he scratched off a $10 Cash Bonanza Riches lottery ticket.

Lance Shugart, who lives down the street from Sexton's family, said the crash happened about 50 feet from his home.

"When he (Ratterree) hit the lottery about three months ago, they were on the top of the world," said Shugart, who knows the family. "Now, this is the lowest they can possibly feel. It's a tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to their family."

Sexton's family could not be reached.

Around 3:15 a.m., Sexton was traveling west along Old Friendship Road when he ran off the road, lost control of his truck and struck a tree, said Cpl. Bryan McDougald of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Sexton was not wearing a seat belt. He died at the scene, McDougald said.

Sexton formerly attended Rock Hill High School, said Elaine Baker, district spokeswoman.

Authorities believe alcohol and speed contributed to the accident. The speed limit for the area was | 55 mph, McDougald said. Sexton's estimated speed was not available Friday.

To date, 158 people have died on state roads. In 2007, 146 motorists died on state roads, according to the state office of public highway safety.