At least one person is dead and four others were injured following a Lancaster County crash just before midnight Thursday morning involving a state trooper. Lancaster County authorities say 81-year-old Laxiben Patel died as a result of the crash which involved a patrol cruiser and a minivan. The accident shut down a part of Highway 521 south of Andrew Jackson State Park for almost eight hours.
Department of Public Safety spokesman Sid Gaulden identified the trooper as LCpl. E. F. Kennington. When the accident happened, Kennington was responding to another accident in the area that had occurred only 15 minutes before.
Gaulden says Kennington did not have his lights and siren on at the time of the crash because of the nature of the call.
Trooper Kennington was responded to a collision in the Indian Land area. He was not running code, using lights and sirens. It was not a life and death situation requiring use of lights and sirens to get to a place as soon as possible.
Multiple ambulances and two medical helicopters responded to the scene. Gaulden says Kennington was one of those transported.
He was airlifted to the Charlotte Medical Center and treated. He did not face life-threatening injuries in the collision. He will face future medical procedures, though, as a result of the collision.
The case is being investigated by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Lexington County Accident Reconstruction Team. The Department of Public Safety is not investigating the case.