Driver lies about crash with 18-wheeler to cover up fatal hit-and-run, SC officials say

Tanasia Kenney
·2 min read

A South Carolina woman said a recent crash with a big-rig was her “first accident ever,” but there was just one problem — authorities say it was a lie. Instead, she was arrested the following day in connection to a hit-and-run accident that killed a high school senior.

A judge denied bond Saturday for Casey Marie Schinestuhl, who is accused of hitting 18-year-old Elijah Major while he walked to work in Spartanburg early Friday and then fabricating a story about an 18-wheeler crashing into her car as an apparent cover-up, WYFF reported.

Schinestuhl, 24, is charged with hit-and-run leaving the scene with death, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

At her bond hearing, a local prosecutor said Schinestuhl shared photos of her wrecked car on Facebook after the crash, claiming she had been in an accident with a tractor trailer, WHNS reported.

“I’m okay y’all. My first accident ever,” her post reportedly read, according to the prosecutor. “A 18 wheeler hit me this morning. Sally is now on her way to the body shop to see if she’s fixable or totaled.”

Authorities said Major was struck around 5:30 a.m. last Friday as he walked to his job at the Holiday Inn Express, McClatchy News previously reported. He was knocked into the parking lot of Sk8erz Family Fun Center, where he was found over an hour later.

Elijah Major, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run early Friday while walking to work in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Elijah Major, 18, was killed in a hit-and-run early Friday while walking to work in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Police said he died at the scene.

After news of Major’s death, authorities said Schinestuhl went to the sheriff’s office with her father and turned herself in after speaking with troopers about the crash, according to the Associated Press.

She apologized to Major’s mother and grandfather during her virtual bond hearing Saturday. Elijah Major’s mother, Simona Major, remembered her son as a hard worker who had dreams of getting into the Naval Academy, WHNS reported. She said he often walked to work for exercise.

Elijah Major’s grandfather, Simon Major, also addressed the court and said he was shocked by the “callousness” shown by Schinestuhl.

“She left my baby, in the street, like he didn’t matter,” Simon Major said, according to WYFF. “And I can forgive her for the accident, I can even forgive her for hitting him, but what I can’t get past is, the mindset you had - the lack of empathy and sympathy for him, and to try to for lack of a better term, to wash over it, and just concoct an explanation of an 18-wheeler.”

Co-workers said Major had recently moved to the Spartanburg area and was taking virtual classes.

He was set to graduate from Mundy’s Mill High School in Jonesboro, Georgia, in May.

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