3 killed in three wrecks

By: By Kasie Strickland - kstrickland@civitasmedia.com

PICKENS COUNTY — Three more deadly accidents happened in Pickens County over the past few days, bringing the death toll to six in just two weeks.

Last week residents mourned the loss of Trent Anthony Cobb, James David Oberkirsch and 17-year-old Meghan Nicholson.

Just after noon on Tuesday, a 24-year-old driver of a Jeep was traveling south on SC 183 when she tried to turn left onto Cannery Road and struck a Honda traveling north on SC 183 head on.

The driver of the Honda has been identified as 67-year-old Paul Ruppert of Pickens.

Ruppert was trapped in his car and had to be cut free, troopers said.

According to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office, he died hours later at Greenville Memorial Hospital from internal injuries.

The driver of the Jeep, identified as Jennifer Lynn Bourque, was also injured and transported to the hospital where her condition remains unknown.

Bourque has been charged with failure to yield right of way.

A 5-year-old passenger in the Jeep was not hurt.

Later that same day, 28-year-old Joseph Wellborn of Travelers Rest was killed when his car ran off the road and struck a tree.

According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, Wellborn was driving on North Martin Road in Easley when the accident occurred around 4:30 p.m.

Pickens County Coroner Kandy Kelley said the victim was not wearing his seat belt at the time of the crash and died of blunt force trauma.

A woman identified as 67-year-old Susie Lail died on Wednesday when a pick-up truck veered off the road and overturned after hitting a ditch.

Troopers stated the the crash happened around 9 p.m. on Hidden Valley Road in Pickens.

The Coroner’s Office stated Lail was a passenger in the vehicle and died at the scene of thermal burns.

The driver of the truck, who remains unidentified, was injured in the crash and transported to a nearby hospital.

His condition and prognosis have not been made available by authorities at this time.

All three vehicle crashes remain under investigation by SCHP.

By Kasie Strickland


Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.