Chapin, SC (Paul Kirby) – A motorcycle accident that was first thought to be in Lexington County near Chapin was eventually found inside Richland County with the bike’s operator deceased. The single-unit collision occurred at about 2:40 p.m. on Saturday, August 1, 2020.
According to Master Trooper David Jones of the SCHP, a 2019 Harley Davidson motorcycle was travelling north on Chapin Road near Flip’s Road or St. Jacob's Lutheran Church when its operator lost control, went off the road, crashed, and was killed. That operator was not wearing a helmet at the time the collision occurred. The Richland County Coroner has not released the name of that operator at this time.
There was a great deal of confusion regarding where this collision actually occurred. That was caused by the proximity of the Richland-Lexington County line to I-26 and a caller that witnessed the crash but was uncertain exactly what county they were in at the time.
The caller saw the bike go off the road and down an embankment. They dialed 911 but without an exact house number, referenced the scene’s proximity to the interstate and other landmarks to identify where it occurred. Thinking this was in Lexington County, the caller dialed 911 and first responders from Lexington EMS and the fire service were dispatched. When they got to the county line, they still hadn’t located a crash and radioed their dispatch for additional information. The caller advised the bike had gone off the road and down the embankment making it difficult to see from the road. Only after some diligent searching was the bike and its operator found.
This confusion didn’t make any difference in the outcome of the wreck. Lexington County personnel work closely with Richland County in that area providing the same quality of care regardless of geographical or “invisible” county lines. This collision was just not easy to locate regardless of what county it was in. Lexington County personnel do not just stop at a county line if someone may be injured. This only becomes a serious situation in law enforcement when jurisdictional boundaries are important to determine what court system will handle a case.
Master Trooper Jones said that the Richland County Coroner’s Office would be responsible for notifying the public of the deceased operator’s identity once their family had been properly notified.