14-year-old boy dies after being hit by car on Valentine’s Day in Fort Mill

14-year-old boy dies after being hit by car on Valentine’s Day in Fort Mill

FORT MILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Police have identified a 14-year-old boy who was hit and killed by a vehicle in Fort Mill Friday evening.

The incident happened in the area of Pleasant Road at Whitley Road around 6 p.m.

When officers arrived, they discovered that a 14-year-old boy, identified Monday as Bryan Orkofsky, had been hit by the vehicle while trying to cross the road. Emergency services personnel responded and Bryan was flown from the scene to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment. He died at the hospital Saturday night.

Bruce Orkofsky is the grandfather of 14-year-old Bryan. He says he dropped his grandson off at a friend’s house Friday night. The two boys were crossing Pleasant Road at Whitley Road to get to a playground near Pleasant Knoll Elementary School.

Orkofsy says Bryan’s friend made it across, but Bryan was hit by a car while he tried to cross the street.

“My grandson was crossing here, and his friend confirmed to me that he looked both ways,” Orkofsky said.

Orkofsky says Bryan was flown to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. He was pronounced dead Saturday night.

“My daughter in law is broken up. Even when they took him off life support on Saturday she couldn’t leave his side. She laid in bed with him hugging him,” Orkofsky said.

14-year-old Bryan Orkofsky was killed while trying to cross the street near Pleasant Knoll Elementary last week.
14-year-old Bryan Orkofsky was killed while trying to cross the street near Pleasant Knoll Elementary last week. (Source: Provided by grandfather)

Orkofsky says the family moved to Fort Mill about two and a half years ago. Bryan attended Fort Mill High School.

“Hi favorite holiday was Halloween. He always decorated his room and went to Scarowinds,” Orkofky said.

Fort Mill Police have not released any new information about the crash. Orkofsky and several other concerned parents say there needs to be more safety measures in place since so many children cross the street at the intersection.

“I think they should put speed bumps in. I’ve come during school hours and have seen the crossing guard stopping traffic but I mean look, he’s not going 45. It’s a big concern,” Orkofsky said.

Pleasant Road has a 45 miles per hour speed limit that drops to 35 miles per hour when lights within the school zone are lit up.

Bryan’s grandfather spoke with WBTV Monday. He says his grandson loved horror movies and Halloween. He often said “I’m going to be tall like my Papa”

A small memorial was set up in front of Pleasant Knoll Elementary/Middle Schools for Bryan.

A small memorial has been set up in front of Pleasant Knoll Elementary/Middle Schools where a 14-year-old boy was hit by a car on Valentine’s Day.
A small memorial has been set up in front of Pleasant Knoll Elementary/Middle Schools where a 14-year-old boy was hit by a car on Valentine’s Day. (Source: Kristi O'Connor/WBTV)

Several moms who live nearby say they have complained about the dangers of children crossing the street.

“Sometimes we’ll cross one lane then cars will blow by us like they don’t even see us and I’ll have a huge stroller and two kids on bikes and no one seems to care,” one mom said.

Several of the moms say they’ve contacted Fort Mill Police, Fort Mill Town Council, Fort Mill Schools and the South Carolina Department of Transportation. They say they have asked for a traffic light, a reduced speed limit, and a heavier police presence.

“In that email I said does there have to be a casualty for something to happen and here we are not long after that email was sent and someone had to pay the price,” mother Sarah Chick said.

“It’s so devastating because I feel like there was no reason for this to have happened,” mother Nicole Bis said.

WBTV contacted Fort Mill Schools and the Department of Transportation. An investigation is still underway, and no charges have been bought forth at this time.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation provided a response about parent concerns Friday. It reads as follows:

“I am always saddened to hear of any fatality on a SC roadway. Our entire department works diligently to provide the safest traffic system possible for all users. I am aware of the two fatalities that have happened recently in this area. The one that is currently under investigation involving Mr. Orkofsky as well as the one that happened after the recent storms and high winds involving a tree vs car. We have worked with the School District and have evaluated this intersection for a stop/go signal several times since the Elementary School was built in 2009. We have made several modifications over the last 11 years to signing and pavement markings on Pleasant road to increase visibility for both the motorists and pedestrians to the fact that a school exists in the area, and the possibility of crossing pedestrians. We also performed extensive vegetation maintenance along Pleasant Road last year. Our most recent review of the intersection which involved a turning movement count, pedestrian count and accident review was in October of 2019. The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) maintains approximately 200,000 intersections statewide, of which approximately 4,000 are signalized intersections. Our staff routinely receives requests to signalize intersections for various reasons to include more efficiently moving traffic through one or to potentially increase safety due to crashes. It’s prudent to understand that while adding a signalized intersection may reduce certain kinds of crashes such as right-angle, an increase in other forms of crashes such as rear-end crashes may be realized. When requests come in, SCDOT follows the federal highways administration (FHWA) manual for uniform traffic control devices (MUTCD) Signal Warrant Analysis to determine the need for traffic control (a traffic signal) at a non-signalized intersection. There are 9 warrants included in the MUTCD Signal Warrant Analysis which are: Warrant 1, Eight-Hour Vehicular Volume, Warrant 2, Four-Hour Vehicular Volume, Warrant 3, Peak Hour, Warrant 4, Pedestrian Volume, Warrant 5, School Crossing, Warrant 6, Coordinated Signal System, Warrant 7, Crash Experience, Warrant 8, Roadway Network, Warrant 9, Intersection Near a Grade Crossing. Meeting one warrant does not mean a signal is necessary. Meeting all volume warrants does not indicate, necessarily, that a signal is needed either. Use of engineering judgement to review all the warrants analyzed, review of operations, review of accident history, and review of delay and potential impact of the signal on existing conditions all play a key role in ultimately deciding if a signal is warranted. As stated earlier in this email the intersection was reviewed in October of 2019. At that time none of the above Warrants were met and the determination was made to not signalize the intersection. A review of the intersection has been requested again following this tragedy, and we will be procuring further in the next weeks to identify what if anything has changed, or if anything further can be done to improve visibility and safety along Pleasant Road from SC 160 to SC 460.”

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