Rock Hill football star, Abbeville schools head killed in head-on Chester County crash

A Rock Hill football star headed to college and the head of Abbeville County schools were killed in a head-on crash Thursday evening in Chester County, emergency and police officials said.

The wreck happened around 6 p.m. on West End Road at Carter Road, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Gary Miller.

Miller, along with fire officials and Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey, said there were two fatalities in the crash on West End Road that is part of S.C. 72, south of the city of Chester.

Savion Zyire White, 18, a graduate of South Pointe High School who was on scholarship at Newberry College, died, said Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker. White was on his way to school at the time of the crash, Tinker said.

White died after the SUV vehicle he was driving struck another SUV head-on, Miller said.

In the other vehicle, Betty Jo Hall, 58, was killed, Tinker said. Hall was the superintendent of the Abbeville County school district, according to Tinker and school officials.

Hall’s husband, Wallace, was hurt in the crash, Tinker said.

White was a standout defensive at South Pointe in the 2018 season, registering more than 100 tackles. He signed a scholarship with Newberry in February.

South Pointe football posted this statement on Twitter after the crash:

“We are sadden to hear the passing of such a true stallion. Savion truly did live the “ South Pointe Way”, his past years at South Pointe. On behalf of the South Pointe Stallions, the White Family has our deepest condolences! “

On Twitter, South Pointe head coach DeVonte Holloman announced: “The Stallions will dedicate this season to Savion and we will honor the number 21! Please pray for the family of Savion White as well as our players, coaches, teachers, and community!”

Dozens of people gathered at the White family’s Rock Hill home Friday. Several football coaches from Newberry and South Pointe, and Rock Hill schools officials, also came by the house to offer condolences, White’s family said.

Many people talked about Savion being a superb student and wrestler during his high school years. Funeral arrangements are pending.

White was an incoming freshman on the football team and had spent the summer participating in team weightlifting programs and taking summer classes, Newberry officials said.

“Savion was an outstanding young man,” said Newberry head coach Todd Knight in a statement released by the school. “He had a bright future ahead of him here. It’s a tragedy that it was cut short. In the short amount of time he was here with us it was easy to tell that people thought a lot of him. Everybody loved the kid.”

White was named an All-State South Carolina football player in 2018 and was twice selected to All-Region teams.

“Savion was a great athlete but an even better person,” said Newberry Assistant Head Coach and Defensive Coordinator Stephen Flynn, who led White’s recruitment. “He was an excellent student, he worked hard, and his smile could light up a room.”

In a statement, Newberry College’s president said White was already part of the school community.

“We are deeply saddened by Savion’s passing,” said President Maurice Scherrens. “His was a life full of opportunity that ended far too soon. He will always be a member of our Newberry family.”

Hall was mourned Friday by Abbeville schools officials in a Twitter statement: “Dear ACSD Family, It is with great sadness to inform you that our beloved superintendent, Dr. Betty Jo Hall, used the wings she earned on this earth to soar to be with our Lord, her Heavenly Father, shortly after 6:00 PM last night. Please be in prayer for her husband, Wally, and her brother and sister and extended family.”

Halls’ husband, known as Wally, is an assistant superintendent for a Greenwood school district.

The Greenwood district issued this statement: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of Drs. Betty Jo and Wally Hall and their respective school families, Abbeville County and McCormick County School Districts. Wally and Betty Jo dedicated their lives to improving their respective school districts and community. Wally did an outstanding job as principal and assistant superintendent while working for Greenwood School District 52. We are praying for a full recovery for Wally. Betty Jo benefited school districts across the State of South Carolina with her knowledge, expertise, and willingness to assist any school district in need. She will be truly missed.”

Firefighters from the West Chester, Leeds and city of Chester departments were on scene, along with hazardous materials crews, fire officials said.

Highway patrol officials said the investigation is ongoing.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

Related stories from Rock Hill Herald