Fatal wrecks plague Upstate

By: By Kasie Strickland - kstrickland@championcarolinas.com

PICKENS COUNTY — Two more deadly wrecks have claimed the lives of Pickens County residents.

On July 29, Jerry Thomas “JT” Wood Jr. was driving a 2013 Honda north on Crescent Hill Drive in Pickens when he suddenly veered off the road and struck a tree, said South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers.

The accident happened around 2 a.m.

According to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office, a few days later, Wood was dead.

In a statement from Coroner Kandy Kelley, the unrestrained driver suffered a pulmonary embolus and was pronounced dead in his home at 7:58 a.m. on Aug. 2.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a pulmonary embolism is a blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries in the lungs that, in most cases, are caused by blood clots that travel to the lungs from the legs or, rarely, other parts of the body (deep vein thrombosis).

Because the clots block blood flow to the lungs, pulmonary embolism can be life-threatening, the clinic states.

On Aug. 6, Abraham Abdullah Balawi of Central was killed when he was ejected from a vehicle being driven by an unnamed 16-year-old juvenile.

According to troopers, the collision happened as the teenage driver was heading north on Alex Lane near the Pickens County Airport.

The driver struck a mailbox, and veered into a ditch where it overturned and threw Balawi, 20, out of the car.

A statement from the Coroner’s Office said he died at the scene.

The driver and a 21-year-old second passenger were transported by emergency services to Greenville Memorial Hospital. Both had been wearing seat-belts.

No information has been released on their conditions.

The crash that claimed the life of Balawi is under investigation and troopers have stated charges may be pending.

By Kasie Strickland


Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.

Reach Kasie Strickland at 864-855-0355.