A Georgetown man was killed early Monday in a crash that has forced the closure of the U.S. 701 bridge over the Pee Dee River until Wednesday.
U.S. 701 north- and southbound traffic is being diverted until the bridge is reopened.
State troopers said Jack Manigault Jr., 38, of Georgetown, was pronounced dead after his Freightliner tractor-trailer veered off the bridge, went through a concrete railing and into the swampy area below.
The cause of his death remains unknown, said Horry County Deputy Coroner Darris Fowler.
Fowler said the preliminary autopsy did not reveal any major trauma to Manigault as a result of the crash. He said more information could come from the toxicology results, which will be available in a few weeks.
The crash, which happened around 8 a.m., is being investigated by the S.C. Highway Patrol and the Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins with the S.C. Highway Patrol.
While the investigation is ongoing, so are repairs to the bridge over the Pee Dee River, and traffic will be diverted through Hemingway until the bridge is fixed.
S.C. Transportation Secretary Robert J. St. Onge Jr. issued an emergency order around 5 p.m. Monday for the bridge to be repaired.
About 70 feet of concrete railing on the bridge over the Pee Dee River has to be replaced, said Shannon Welch, resident maintenance engineer with the S.C. Department of Transportation office in Conway.
No traffic will be allowed onto the U.S. 701 bridges in the area until the repairs are completed, Welch said.
Department of Transportation bridge personnel and Cape Romain Contractors of Wando will work to have the road open by Wednesday, weather permitting, according to a DOT press release.
Drivers coming from Horry County will be directed to Pee Dee Highway to U.S. 378 to S.C. 41/S.C. 51 to S.C. 261 back to U.S. 701. Traffic coming from Georgetown County is being diverted along a similar route.
The detour will add a significant amount of time to any trips in the area and drivers are encouraged to take alternative roads, Welch said.
Welch said he does not know yet how much the repairs to the bridge will cost.
Staff reporter Tonya Root contributed to this report.