Authorities have linked seven deaths in South Carolina last week to a large ice storm that blanketed the Midlands and Pee Dee with nearly two inches of ice.
A 92-year-old woman was found dead in her Marion County home Friday night, the third death blamed on hypothermia. The coroner’s office told WPDE-TV that a relative found Margaret Brown’s body in her home on the southern edge of Marion. Her body was found a day after another woman died in a Marion house fire. Ernestine Ammons died when a fire in her home’s oil-burning stove got out of control. Marion Fire officials said Ammons’ husband was using the stove to keep the house warm after the couple’s power went out.
Two other people died from hypothermia during the below-freezing temperatures. Darlington County officials said they found John Griffith’s, 72, body on a baseball field not far from his Hartsville apartment Wednesday. A day later, a homeless man was found dead in an abandoned Sumter home. The Sumter County Coroner’s Office said Jason Fleming died from hypothermia. No warm clothing was found near his body, according to Coroner Harvin Bullock.
A Berkeley County man was found dead in his home Thursday. The county coroner’s office said Audiel Lopez-Marroquin, 25, had been trying to heat a single-wide mobile home trailer with a charcoal grill. Coroner Bill Salisbury said Lopez-Marroquin died from carbon monoxide poisoning. A woman in the house also became ill.
Two road deaths have also been blamed on icy conditions. Highway Patrol troopers say a 24-year-old passenger died when a car hit a tree around 2 a.m. Thursday in Hampton County. A woman also died Wednesday morning when she lost control of her vehicle on Interstate 95 in Clarendon County and hit the back of a state Department of Natural Resources truck that was parked along the side of the road to assist another motorist.