South Congaree, SC (Paul Kirby) – A dump truck travelling from Edmund toward Columbia experienced some sort of difficulty right outside the South Congaree town limits causing it to crash through the front of a store. The accident happened just after 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The truck started losing its dirt load near Calvin Court where the problem apparently started. It eventually shot across all oncoming lanes of traffic and tipped on its side before crashing through the front of the Cruise In store. In the process, it hit a heavy transmission power pole owned by Mid Carolina Electric Co-Op, buckled that steel pole in half, smashed several vehicles in the store’s parking spaces, and knocked out power all over the town. Its load of soil was spread across the store’s parking lot.
South Congaree Police Chief Josh Shumpert was the first to arrive and he had to tell bystanders to get back away from the downed powerlines. He began to check on the driver and the occupants of the store. Other officers from South Congaree, Springdale, and Pine Ridge arrived and they began trying to keep some traffic flowing. After the fire service arrived, the westbound lane of Main Street was blocked causing the police to route traffic through the eastbound lanes only. Officials reported that no one was trapped in the truck or the store. A number of people were transported to local hospitals with what is beleived to be minor injuries.
Power is out throughout South Congaree and may be for some time. This has all traffic lights out down Main Street and even Edmund Highway near the Columbia Metro Airport. There was a heavy wrecker on the scene at 3:10 p.m. and a small tractor is starting to remove the dirt. We will update this story as more information become available.