CHESTER, S.C. (WBTV) - The Abbeville County Schools superintendent and an 18-year-old headed to college were killed in a head-on-crash in Chester County Thursday night, officials say.
According to the South Carolina Highway Patrol, a Dodge Durango was traveling north on SC Highway 72 near Carter Road, about 5 miles south of the City of Chester. A Chevy SUV was traveling south on Highway 72.
SCHP says the SUV crossed the center line and hit the Durango head on. According to Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker, 18-year-old Savion Zyire White was driving the SUV. He was pronounced dead. Tinker says White was traveling to Newberry College, where he had a scholarship to play football this year, when the crash occurred.
Tinker identified the right-side passenger in the Durango as 58-year-old Betty Jo Hall of Abbeville, S.C. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Tinker says Hall is the superintendent of Abbeville County Schools.
The School District posted a statement to its Facebook page which reads:
“Dear ACSD Family, It is with great sadness to inform you that our beloved superintendent, Dr. Betty Jo Hall, used the wings she earned on this earth to soar to be with our Lord, her Heavenly Father, shortly after 6:00 PM last night. Please be in prayer for her husband, Wally, and her brother and sister and extended family.”
Rock Hill School Communications Director Mychal Frost says White graduated from South Pointe High School in June. He signed on to play football at Newberry College in February.
The South Pointe student council posted about White following the crash, and offering his family condolences.
Former South Pointe High School Head Football Coach Strait Herron told WBTV he coached Savion White for all four seasons of his high school career. Herron says what he’ll remember most about White is the person he was off the field.
“Biggest thing I will always remember about him was his smile and his cheerful demeanor. Sometimes I wondered you know if he was actually mean enough to be a football player. He was just so kind hearted and just a good guy,” Herron said.
Robert Blanchett has lived along Highway 72 in Chester County for 26 years. He says he’s seen several crashes along the two-lane highway. He heard the sirens and drove to the scene Thursday night.
“It was awful, it was a mess. One car they said was an SUV but you couldn’t even tell what it was, it was all burned up,” Blanchett said.
Frost says counselors will be available to meet with anyone who is struggling with the loss of White. The Stallions have announced they will dedicate their football season to him.