Billy Joe Thomas, 23, of Gaston was traveling on the 2800 block of Augusta Highway on Monday when his vehicle spun out of control and hit another truck being driven by James Liberty, 37, of West Columbia. The impact from the first crash caused Thomas' vehicle to be forced into an oncoming lane where it was struck by a 2007 10-wheel flatbed truck driven by Jerome Cole, 44, of Columbia.
After the crash Thomas was trapped as was one of his passengers Travis Berry, 23, of Columbia. The second passenger in Thomas' truck was Kendall Shisler, 19, also of Columbia was thrown from the pickup. Both of the passengers were admitted to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital. Thomas was taken to Lexington Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy that was performed on Tuesday showed that Billy Joe Thomas died from multiple body trauma from being thrown around in the cab of the truck.
The 3 car accident blocked the Lexington County intersection of Pinecrest Avenue and Highway 1 near Interstate 26 from 2pm until 6:30pm on Monday, March 8, 2011.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol Accident Reconstruction Team is investigating the accident and may take weeks before a final report is released.