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Funeral services announced for Lexington Co. Coroner Harry Harman

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Harry Harman's Mercury Mountaineer after the February, 2013 crash. (Source: SCHP) Harry Harman's Mercury Mountaineer after the February, 2013 crash. (Source: SCHP)
LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) -

Services for Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman have been announced.

A spokesperson with the Caughman-Harman Funeral Home said Saturday visitation will be Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. and the service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church in Lexington.

Harman died  Friday at 12:39 p.m. at the Lexington Medical Center, the Lexington County Coroner's Office said. 

Harman, 79, had been in office for more than 36 years. He was first elected in 1977 and was also known for the Lexington County funeral home that bears his name.

The longtime coroner had been in and out of the hospital and rehab over the last couple of years for a back problem, injuries suffered in two serious falls, and a vehicle crash.

In that February 23, 2013 accident, Harman had to be cut out of the wreckage of his SUV after it slammed into a parked tractor-trailer on a foggy roadway near Columbia Metro Airport.

Investigators estimate Harman's vehicle was going about 35 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Troopers determined low visibility due to the foggy conditions caused Harman to go off the road. 

Shortly after the accident, Chief Deputy Coroner Randy Martin, who has been filling in for Harman in the office's daily duties, said his office had no reason to believe that Harman would not return to work.

The crash happened only a few months after Harman managed to hold onto his job during a tougher than normal re-election campaign, one that saw former Richland County Coroner Frank Barron raise questions about Harman's ability to meet the physical challenges of his work.

At the time, Harman was spending a lot of time recovering from back surgery and injuries suffered in at least two falls. In May 2012, he told us he was doing better.

"I'm getting well," said Harman in 2012. "I'm walking just as good as I was before I fell. And we expect in a week or so we'll be probably putting this cane down. I'm just using it now to be sure of myself."

Friend and Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says Harman had been able to visit the coroner's office near the sheriff's department several times a week.

Watts says Harman also attended a coroner's training session at a conference center on Fernandina Road on March 29.  

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