A woman died after a deer ran into a motorcyclist riding on U.S. 501 Sunday morning, police said.
Merry Holaday Davis, 64, of Trenton, Texas, died while riding with her husband, Harvey Davis, also 64, said Horry County deputy coroner Tamara Willard. Both were wearing helmets, though they are not required to be worn in South Carolina.
Both Merry and Harvey Davis were taken to McLeod hospital in Loris.
According to Senior Trooper Bridget Wyatt with the S.C. Highway Patrol, Harvey and Merry Davis were traveling north on U.S. 501 just north of S.C. 319 at about 7:45 a.m. when a deer ran out from the right side of the road and struck the motorcycle. Harvey Davis was driving and lost control of the motorcycle causing both he and Merry Davis were thrown from the motorcycle, Wyatt said.
Merry and Harvey Davis – who were retired – were in town for vacation as well as to do genealogical research, Merry Davis’s brother Robert Holaday said in an email.
“Genealogy was one of Merry's great interests and the southeast beckoned as she sought more information on the family roots,” Holaday said. “She was the careful type, a good researcher and registered pharmacist.”
Robert said he is the only of four siblings who was not given a “festive” name. His other sisters were named Gay and Joy Holaday at birth.
“Growing up I remember people would ask her name,” he said. “She'd reply, ‘Would you believe, Merry Holaday?’ … Dad would not agree to naming me Noel, or we'd have all four had names that were a play on our last name.”
Harvey Davis’ condition was unknown Sunday afternoon. The Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.