South Carolina

Teen killed on prom night after crash with suspected drunken driver, SC cops say

Trinity Brandasia Harrison was killed in a car crash late Saturday night.
Trinity Brandasia Harrison was killed in a car crash late Saturday night. Facebook Screen Grab

A teenager was killed on her way home from her high school prom when the car she was riding in was hit by a suspected drunk driver, the South Carolina Highway Patrol said.

Trinity Brandasia Harrison was killed in the crash that occurred just after 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Greenville County Coroner B. Parks Evans Jr. said in a news release.

The 18-year-old was on her way home from the prom at Ware Shoals High School, where she was a senior, the Index-Journal reported.

Harrison was identified as the front-seat passenger in a 2013 Dodge Avenger heading toward Greenville, by the coroner’s office. The car was hit “head on” by a 1999 Volkswagen Cabrio driving southbound, S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis said on a media news line.

The teenager was entrapped in the Dodge and had to be “mechanically extricated,” before she was taken to an area hospital, where she died, according to Hovis.

“Trinity was a beautiful, kind-hearted young lady who was quick with a smile. She was loved dearly by her classmates,” Ware Shoals Principal Paul Anderson said, according to the Index-Journal.

An autopsy is scheduled on Monday for Harrison, who was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. Sunday, Parks said in the news release.

The driver of the Dodge and Carter Owen, the 27-year-old who was driving the Volkswagen, were airlifted by helicopter to an area hospital, according to Hovis. There is no word on their conditions.

Owen, a Pelzer resident, was charged with felony DUI resulting in death, Hovis said.

“If only he had thought about the consequences before getting behind the wheel of a car intoxicated Trinity would still be here planning for graduation,” Traci Fant wrote in a Facebook post, along with pictures of Harrison in her prom dress.

The Greenwood District 50 School Board echoed those sentiments in a message posted to its Facebook page.

“Drinking and driving is, by far, one of the most selfish acts because it is the innocent ones who suffer at the hands of your recklessness. Please do not drink and drive, folks,” the school board said in its post.

Ministers, counselors and a highway patrol trooper will be at the school to speak with students, according to Ware Shoals School District Superintendent Fay Sprouse, who said the trooper will return after discussing prom safety with students, the Index-Journal reported.

“A hole is in the fabric of our tightly knit community, and we will hold hands as we celebrate her life while dealing with our loss,” Sprouse said, according to the newspaper.

The deadly collision is under investigation by the highway patrol and coroner’s office.

Named after Lexington 6-year-old Emma Longstreet, the 2014 law requires the installation of device on vehicles of first-offense drunk drivers.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.