‘Say prayers for our family’: Relative of family hurt in crash shares update

The crash happened on Highway 78 in front of Woodland Highschool around 11:25 a.m. Saturday.
Published: May. 15, 2023 at 5:38 PM EDT|Updated: May. 15, 2023 at 9:23 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - One freelance photographer says he received a scary phone call Saturday morning when the crash he was headed to cover was one seven members of his family were involved in.

The crash happened on Highway 78 in front of Woodland Highschool around 11:25 a.m. Saturday.

Officials say a teenager pulled out in front of a car that had two adults and five juveniles inside. All eight people were taken to the hospital, according to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office. Three of the victims are still in the hospital.

Howard Armstrong of Summerville is the freelance photographer that was on his way to cover an accident on Highway 78.

“And then I got a call a few minutes later from my daughter when I realized the accident I was responding to was actually my family,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong’s daughter, her husband and five kids were struck by a 17-year-old driver. At first, he didn’t know if any of them were still alive.

“That is what weighed on my mind,” Armstrong said. “Did I have a daughter anymore? Did I have - you’re talking about seven members of my family - maybe all be gone in one swoop like that.”

One was airlifted and the other seven were transported to the hospital by EMS. Armstrong says his daughter has a broken hand, one of the kids has a broken collarbone and the father is still in critical condition awaiting surgery. One of the kids had to have emergency surgery from a torn colon and one of his intestines was cut in half.

Armstrong says he’s just thankful they’re alive.

“That’s really important that you pay attention to that wheel because not only are you responsible for the life of people that’s in your car, but you’re responsible for the other people that’s on your highway,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong says anyone driving near a school needs to yield to traffic because so many people, especially young people, drive in the area and they could even be new drivers.

Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office would not release any information on the condition of the 17-year-old because they are a minor.

“Say prayers for our family and especially the other family,” Armstrong said.