Mount Pleasant -- Two motorcyclists, one of them 80 years old, were killed on a day trip to Charleston on Tuesday when they stopped in traffic and an SUV plowed into them, according to police.
Charleston County Deputy Coroner Kelly Myers said the 80-year-old man was James Doucette, of Port Charlotte, Fla. James Hines, 50, from Yaphank, N.Y., also was killed. Both men were taken by EMS from the scene on U.S. Highway 17 near Anna Knapp Boulevard to Medical University Hospital. They both died there from their injuries, Myers said.
She will do an autopsy today, Myers said. But the men died from blunt force trauma suffered during the collision, she said.
Capt. Carl Ritchie of the Mount Pleasant Police Department said the men were in the Myrtle Beach area for Bike Week and decided to come to Charleston for the day. They were driving south on U.S. 17 about 11:30 a.m., riding side by side, when they stopped in traffic.
A sport-utility vehicle behind them failed to stop, hit the motorcycles, and pushed them into the back of another vehicle. That vehicle was then forced into another car, Ritchie said.
There were helmets on the scene, Ritchie said, but he's not sure if the men were wearing them when they were hit. He didn't identify the driver of the SUV but said there was no immediate indication that the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
The air bag deployed in the SUV, Ritchie said, and the driver was taken to a hospital for an examination. Charges are pending for the SUV driver, he said, but police need to first interview witnesses and complete an investigation.
The wreck tied up traffic on U.S. 17 for about three hours, Ritchie said. Police had to block the road and have cars drive off the highway to the right of the accident across a small median to a parallel frontage road. Cars could then veer back across the median back onto the highway after they passed the accident. "It was very, very slow," he said.