Midlands resident killed when tractor trailer crashes into pickup, coroner says

A Midlands resident was killed when ejected from a pickup truck that was hit by a tractor trailer, the Newberry County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday.

Ulysses Angeles, a 25-year-old Blythewood resident, died in the Tuesday morning crash, Coroner Laura Kneece said.

The two-vehicle collision happened at about 9:15 a.m., near the 72 mile marker on Interstate 26, according to Master Trooper Brandon Bolt of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. That’s in Newberry County, near the junction with S.C. 34.

Angeles was driving a 2019 Dodge Ram west on I-26 when a 2020 Kenworth tractor trailer going in the same direction changed lanes and hit the pickup, Bolt said.

The collision caused the pickup to run into the median where it crashed into the cable barrier and flipped over, according to Bolt.

Angeles was ejected from the pickup, Bolt said. He was not wearing a seat belt and an autopsy is scheduled for this week, according to Kneece.

The tractor trailer driver was not hurt and no other injuries were reported. There was no word if the tractor trailer driver wore a seat belt.

“This is the third motor vehicle collision within the month that the driver of the vehicle was not wearing their seat belt,” Kneece said in a news release. “Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. More than 3 out of 4 people who are ejected during a fatal crash die from their injuries.”

Information about possible criminal charges was not available but the wreck continues to be investigated by the Highway Patrol.

Through Sunday, 766 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2022, according to the state Department of Public Safety. Last year, 1,194 people died in crashes in South Carolina, DPS reported.

At least 10 people have died in Newberry County crashes in 2022, DPS reported. Last year, 18 deaths were reported there, according to DPS data.

On Sept. 30, a 61-year-old Pomaria resident died in a separate Newberry County crash when a pickup ran off Red Knoll Road at the intersection of Holy Trinity Church Road and hit a tree, according to the Highway Patrol. That driver was not wearing a seat belt, Kneece said.

“I know many people express the discomfort of a seat belt or say a seat belt will not save their life. However, statistics show seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%,” Kneece said.