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Chester Co.: 16-year-old dies in crash

A Chester County teenager was killed Thursday night in Fairfield County when the truck he was riding in with his brother went off the road and flipped several times, authorities said.

The teen, identified as Mitchell Cooper, 16, lived on Hopewell Church Road in Blackstock, authorities said.

The crash happened around 7:15 p.m. Thursday on U.S. 321 about 10 miles north of Winnsboro, Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin of the S.C. Highway Patrol said.

Cooper was not wearing a seat belt.

A reconstruction team was on the scene Friday trying to determine the cause, Gaskin said.

Jason Cooper, the 18-year-old driver, was heading south when he drove off the side of the road into a grass median, Gaskin said. He overcorrected, and the Mazda truck flipped several times, throwing the 16-year-old Cooper out.

Jason Cooper, also of Blackstock, was flown to Palmetto Richland Hospital in Columbia, where he was listed in fair condition, authorities said. He was wearing a seat belt.

"It rolled like six or eight times," Fairfield County Deputy Coroner Barkley Ramsey said. "He was traveling at a high rate of speed."

South Carolina annually has one of the highest highway fatality rates in the nation. As of Thursday, 581 people had been killed in crashes across the state.

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