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South Carolina DOT worker struck-killed by DUI driver www.privateofficer.com
Columbia SC Dec 5 2012 The South Carolina Department of Public Safety says 39-year-old Thomas Stafford of West Columbia has been charged with felony DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving death.
This is not the first time Stafford has been charged with DUI. He was arrested on November 19 in Pine Ridge for driving under the influence.
DPS says Stafford was traveling west on I-20 around 1:35 p.m. Monday afternoon when he swerved to the right into the emergency lane and hit 21-year-old Nicholas Johnson of Columbia. Stafford continued on I-20 until eventually stopping on the side of the road.
Wendy Williams worked with Johnson. She says he was new to the department — only a year and a half into it. She can’t believe he’s dead because they were together earlier in the day.
“He took me and another young lady to the Flying J for lunch,” said Williams. “We just had soda pop and a pizza.”
Williams says the newcomer asked her for advice about career longevity. What she told him now makes her think.
“Be patient,” said Williams. “It gets better.”
SCDOT says Johnson worked primarily at the Richland County facility. Grief counselors will be there Tuesday. As for Stafford, investigators say it is unclear at this time what caused him to swerve into the emergency lane and hit Johnson.