The man involved in the collision that killed a Department of Transportation worker says that he had no idea that the collision had happened.
39-year-old Thomas Stafford from West Columbia said to the judge that the crash was a surprise to him and that it scared him, and that he had no idea about it.
Stafford had been out of bond just two weeks after the second DUI charge when the accident happened. He said that he pulled over a short distance after his friend pulled over next to him and told him about the incident. Stafford’s confusion was due to his intoxication, according to Troopers.
Stafford was subsequently charged with leaving the scene of an accident involving death aside from the felony DUI.
At around 1:35 in the afternoon of Monday, Strafford was travelling west on I-20 when he veered into the emergency lane and struck 21-year-old Nicholas Johnson of Columbia. Strafford travelled a short distance before stopping on the side of the road.
Johnson was new to the department—only a year and a half into it. SCDOT had said that Johnson primarily worked at the Richland County facility.
Bond was not granted to Stafford and he will remain at the Lexington County Detention Center until his next appearance on court.
If he will be convicted with the charges, he will be facing 25 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
Accident victims have rights. You may be eligible for compensation for your injuries, wage loss and medical bills. Contact an experienced Columbia Injury Lawyer now for a free consultation.