Two Harley-Davidson riders are dead, their passengers have been hospitalized and two other drivers are facing multiple charges, including DUI, after a multi-vehicle collision in South Carolina.
John Wilson Ruley Jr., 45, and Thomas Edward Burdette, 57, were the motorcycle drivers who were killed in the crash Saturday, according to Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox, indexjournal.com reported.
Both Ruley, who was riding a 2015 Harley-Davidson, and Burdette, who was driving a 2005 Harley, had female passenger, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Hovis.
Neither Ruley nor Burdette was wearing a helmet, Hovis reported.
Ruley and Burdette died on the scene from injuries suffered in the wreck, said Hovis, adding both of their passengers were immediately taken to an area hospital before both were transferred to Greenville Memorial Hospital.
There has been no update on the medical condition of the women since they were transferred to Greenville.
Ronald Lee Derossett was also injured in the crash, according to Hovis, who said Derossett was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from his 1999 Jeep.
The 57-year-old Greenwood resident was released from the hospital Sunday — and immediately arrested, Hovis said.
Derossett set the four-vehicle crash in motion: He was driving east on Evans Pond Road just before 9 p.m. when he pulled out on to US-221 in front of Ruley and Burdette’s Harleys, colliding with both northbound motorcycles, according to Hovis.
Burdette and his passenger went off the road and crashed into a ditch, Hovis said. After the collision with Derossett’s Jeep, Ruley and his passenger then crashed into a 2005 Nissan, driven by Shaundrese Nikole Clarke, according to Hovis. Clarke was also heading north.
Hovis said it was determined that Derossett and Clarke were both driving under the influence at the time of the crash, and both have been arrested and charged.
Derossett was charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death, two counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury, simple possession of marijuana and driving under suspension.
Clarke was charged with two counts of felony DUI, two counts of felony DUI resulting in great bodily injury and one count each of open container, simple possession of marijuana and possession of other controlled substance in schedule IV.
Clarke was not injured in the crash. The 22-year-old from Ridge Spring was wearing a seat belt and was arrested at the scene, according to Hovis.
The collision also caused the northbound lanes of US-221 to be shut down for almost 8 hours, according to indexjournal.com, which reported that troopers cleared the scene and reopened the road at 4:31 a.m. Sunday.
The S.C. Highway Patrol continues to investigate the incident.