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Wrong-way driver charged in fatal wreck

By John Monk
jmonk@thestate.com

RICHLAND COUNTY, S.C. — An allegedly intoxicated driver going the wrong way Sunday morning on I-20 in Richland County caused a crash that killed the driver of another vehicle, the S.C. Highway Patrol said Sunday.

The deceased driver was identified by Richland County Coroner Gary Watts as Donald Jerome Ford, 39, of Bur Oak Lane in Columbia.

Ford was taken to Palmetto Health Richland hospital, where he died of injuries.

The other driver, Jessie Samuels Jr., 51, was charged with felony DUI, said Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins. No address was given for Samuels.

The crash happened around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning around mile marker 68 on I-20 near Monticello Road.

Samuels, who was driving a Ford F150 pickup, was going east in the westbound lane of I-20 when he smashed into a 1996 GMC Sonoma, Collins said.

Samuels was wearing a seatbelt. It is not known whether Ford was wearing a seat belt.

The SC Highway Patrol is investigating the incident.

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