One dead, one sent to jail following two-car crash in Myrtle Beach area

bdickerson@thesunnews.comSeptember 22, 2012 

— One man is dead and another was sent to jail and charged with felony DUI following a two-car wreck Saturday afternoon near the Pirateland Campground on U.S. 17 Business in the Myrtle Beach area, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Wesley Samuel, 52, of Columbia, was killed in the collision. Police said he was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which happened at 1:19 p.m., the highway patrol said.

The crash happened when a Jeep Grand Cherokee driven by Jordy Calhoun, 18, of Conway, left the northbound lane of U.S. 17 Business, crossed the grass median and collided head-on with a van – where Samuel was a passenger – driven by Byron Brennen, 41, of Columbia, in the southbound lane. Both vehicles overturned as a result of the wreck.

Calhoun and a passenger were taken to Conway Medical Center for treatment of injuries. Both were wearing seat belts.

Calhoun was subsequently transferred to J. Reuben Long Detention Center, according to the patrol. He is charged with two counts of felony DUI, one count involving death and one count involving great bodily harm.

There were five passengers in Brennen’s van, including Samuel. They were reportedly all taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.

The highway patrol continues to investigate, and no other details were immediately available.

Southbound traffic was shut down for several hours as emergency crews tended to the victims. Drivers heading south on U.S. 17 were re-routed onto the northbound lanes, which caused further traffic slowdowns.

Several onlookers sat on the porch of a nearby beach shop Saturday afternoon, with the two vehicles just a short distance away, a blue tarp draped over the van.

A police officer came over and asked the crowd to leave, out of respect for the victim’s family.

Contact BRAD DICKERSON at 626-0301.

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