Driver’s medical condition contributed to six-vehicle crash that killed 18-year-old Surfside Beach woman

A medical condition that caused a N.J. man to blackout was ruled the cause of a six-vehicle crash in which an 18-year-old Surfside Beach woman died earlier this year, according to a report from the S.C. Highway Patrol’s Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team.

The report released Tuesday showed that the medical condition – not specified in the report – caused the 34-year-old man to black out on July 12, and his vehicle to cross two grass medians on U.S. 17 in Surfside Beach, just south of Ocean Lakes Campground. The man’s vehicle struck a vehicle driven by Cynthia Ayala and she was killed in the crash.

Ayala’s vehicle then struck another vehicle, leading to a chain reaction involving the six cars while each was stopped for the traffic light at S.C. 544.

Troopers estimated the speed of the New Jersey man’s vehicle was 50 mph when it veered across the highway, according to the report. The man was hospitalized for a couple weeks following the crash.

Ayala was also originally from New Jersey where she had graduated from Colonia High School.

Her family said at the time of the crash that Ayala was preparing to begin her second year of physical therapy assistant program at Horry-Georgetown Technical College.