VIDEO: Lady's Island crash kills 1, injures Beaufort High senior <span class="icon"> </span>

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LADY'S ISLAND

VIDEO: Lady's Island crash kills 1, injures Beaufort High senior <span class="icon"> </span>

By TOM BARTON
tbarton@beaufortgazette.com
Published Thursday, November 29, 2012   |  477 Words  |  

A former Marine was killed and a Beaufort High School senior was injured Thursday morning in a wreck on Sea Island Parkway on Lady's Island.

Krysten Beauchamp , 18, of Beaufort was driving south on Sea Island Parkway when her 2006 Lexus SUV crossed the center line and struck a northbound 2001 Chrysler van head-on, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Bob Beres.

The van's driver -- Chad Santoro, 47, of Beaufort -- died, according to Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen. He was a former gunnery sergeant and worked as a civilian at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, according to Anderson Funeral Home in Beaufort, which is handling arrangements for Santoro's family.

Beauchamp is a senior at Beaufort High, according to county school district spokesman Jim Foster. .

The accident happened near First Citizens Bank across from the Island Square Shopping Center, about a third of a mile from the high school, according to Lady's Island-St. Helena Fire District spokesman Lee Levesque.

Both drivers were wearing seat belts, according to Beres.

Beauchamp was taken by a county ambulance to Beaufort Memorial Hospital. Her condition was not available Thursday afternoon. There were no passengers in either vehicle, according to the Highway Patrol.

Levesque said firefighters had to cut a vehicle open to extract one of the drivers but would not say which one.

The accident occurred at about 6:15 a.m., according to the Highway Patrol, and it closed traffic in both directions on Sea Island Parkway for about an hour and a half, Levesque said.

The collision is being investigated by the Highway Patrol's Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team, Beres said.

No charges had been filed Thursday evening, according to Beres and online Beaufort County Detention Center records.

No further information was available from Foster or the Highway Patrol.

Brian Sheldon, who said he worked with Santoro, saw the wreckage while he drove home from working the night shift.

"He always arrived early at work (nearly 2 hours early every day), and when he did not show up this morning, we were somewhat concerned," Sheldon wrote in an email to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette. "(I) knew from the condition of the van that he had to be seriously injured. I didn't find out until about a couple of hours later that he did not survive. He will be missed."

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