JONESVILLE -- A Pennsylvania couple died and nine other family members were injured after a van rolled over at least five times Wednesday night on Interstate 95 in Colleton County.
The van carrying 11 people was heading north on I-95 when at about 7:30 p.m. it ran off the right side of the road near mile marker 42 and flipped, scattering the area with injured people and debris, authorities said.
Four people were ejected from the van, including 49-year-old Sergio Dominquez and his wife, Rosa, 48, said Colleton County Coroner Richard Harvey. They were killed instantly and pronounced dead at the scene, Harvey said. The couple was from Easton, Pa.
Two sisters, ages 11 and 14, also were ejected from the van, according to Colleton County Fire and Rescue Director Barry McRoy.
All of the passengers were from Pennsylvania, McRoy said. It appears as though none was wearing a seat belt. Harvey said everyone in the van was related. "Their son was one of the passengers," he said. "And there may have been some in-laws."
McRoy said three other patients suffered critical injuries, including a 3-year-old boy who was near-death and barely breathing when Colleton County firefighter-paramedics arrived.
McRoy said a team effort saved the boy's life. Firefighter-paramedics who took him to Colleton Medical Center had to keep him breathing because the boy couldn't breathe on his own. McRoy credited the Colleton Medical Center staff and the staff aboard the medical helicopter for keeping him stable until he arrived at Medical University Hospital, where he survived the night.
Volunteer firefighters from various areas of the county and Yemassee responded to the scene, as did bystanders.
Two medical helicopters landed at the scene and took the 11-year-old girl to the Memorial Medical Center in Savannah and a 22-year-old male to Medical University Hospital.
The remaining patients, among them an infant, were taken by ambulance to Colleton Medical Center, which was alerted ahead of time about the large number of incoming patients and moved patients accordingly, McRoy said.
The 14-year-old girl ejected from the van later was taken to Medical University Hospital.
In total, five ambulances, three fire engines, four paramedic first-response units and three helicopters responded to the scene, McRoy said.
S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Paul Brouthers said they are investigating what caused the van to run off the side of the road. The driver, a 31-year-old woman from Easton, Pa., was taken to Colleton Medical Center, Brouthers said.
McRoy said several good Samaritans arrived at Colleton Medical Center later that evening. One man brought some of the patients' clean clothing and money to help them while another family brought children's clothes.