Coroner: Victim in double fatal felony DUI crash was changing tire when struck by car
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Bond was denied for the 21-year-old woman charged with felony DUI resulting in death following an early Thursday morning crash on Interstate 20 that killed the parents of a 13-month-old child.
At the hearing for Clarise A. Payano, state prosecutors called her a "danger to the community" after the crash. Payano was visibly emotional, wiping away tears as prosecutors and investigators detailed the accident.
Payano was also charged with simple possession of marijuana and not having a license.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol identified the two killed in the accident as Kekima Alexander, 39, and Latoya Garcia, 31.
Alexander and Garcia were parked on the side of I-20 when the Highway Patrol said Payano, who was driving a 2011 Hyundai, veered off the side of the road.
Alexander, according to Richland County Coroner Gary Watts, was changing a tire on the pair's car, when Payano, investigators said, struck Alexander before slamming into their car.
Garcia was inside the car at the time of the crash. She and Alexander both died from blunt force injuries.
Despite the carnage, Alexander and Garcia's child survived with only minor injuries.
The crash was between the North Main and Fairfield Road exits where all lanes were blocked for much of the night. The crash occurred at about 1:30 a.m. The westbound lanes were shut down and traffic was detoured onto Main Street for six hours while the crash was investigated.
The Highway Patrol says several other crashes occurred in the area. Just before 5 a.m., a tractor-trailer crashed into a Richland County Sheriff's Department patrol vehicle as the deputies attempted to direct traffic around the crash.
Copyright 2017 WIS. All rights reserved.