12-year-old dies in bicycle accident

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By Jesef Williams

A 12-year-old Heath Springs boy died Friday after he was hit by an SUV while riding his bicycle.

James Monroe Steele, who lived on Baskins Hill Road, was struck by a 2004 GMC Envoy that was traveling north on Rocky River Road, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Steele pulled out from Baskins Hill Road into the path of the SUV, which was driven by James Blackmon, 67, of Liberty Hill.

Blackmon swerved to the left. The bike also moved left and was then hit by the SUV, S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson said.

Steele was flown to Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia, where he died in the emergency room from massive trauma, said Lancaster County Deputy Coroner Marie Broome.

Broom said the accident probably happened shortly before 5 p.m., as Steele arrived at the hospital just before 6 p.m.

Blackmon was wearing a seat belt, Johnson said. He and the other two occupants of the SUV sustained minor injures. None of the occupants was taken to the hospital.

Blackmon was not cited for any violations and “no charges are being looked at,” Johnson said. Alcohol was not a factor, he said.

- Contact Jesef Williams at 283-1152 or jwilliams@thelancasternews.com