A South Carolina Republican congressional candidate, Katie Arrington, has been hospitalized with serious injuries suffered from a fatal car accident Friday night. The collision occurred around 9pm ET on Highway 17 in Adams Run. Located in a rural area of South Carolina, the highway is unlit at night.
Arrington was riding in the passenger seat when another driver traveling the wrong direction on the highway struck her vehicle. She and a friend had been headed to Hilton Head, where Arrington was scheduled to receive a reward Saturday morning.
Arrington’s campaign staff has reported that she suffered a fractured back, broken ribs, and a partial collapse of the main artery in her legs. As reported by CNN, major surgery will be required to remove a portion of her small intestine and a part of her colon, and she will require a stent in the main artery in her legs.
According to Independent Mail, South Carolina leads the nation in traffic deaths. At 1.88 deaths per 100 million miles driven, it weighs in at nearly double the national average. In 2017, a whopping 988 people were killed on state roads. The majority of these deaths have been attributed to DUIs, speeding, and failure to wear a seat belt, however distracted driving is becoming more and more common among accidents.
According to Parrish Law Firm, distracted driving (such as texting while driving) can qualify as negligence. Under the standards of the law, violating a traffic law, such as texting or using a cell phone, can be determined negligent in a court of law.
Fortunately for Arrington, her spokesperson Michael Mule reported that she was alert and recovering in the Medical University of South Carolina hospital with her family by her side.
Her campaign later stated that she “remains in critical but stable condition” and is scheduled for “another major surgical procedure” Sunday morning. Sunday evening reports had been made that her surgeries went well and she is slated to make a full recovery.
Arrington may need another minor operation, but it is still unclear at this time whether it will be necessary. Her campaign staff predict that Arrington will remain in the hospital for the next two weeks.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to CNN that the other woman in the car with Arrington was Jacqueline Goff. Goff also sustained serious injuries and was transported to the hospital.
The driver of the second vehicle died at the scene of the accident.
Arrington’s Democratic opponent, Joe Cunningham, has announced that he is suspending his campaign out of respect for her recovery. Other South Carolina politicians, Rep. Mark Sanford and Sen. Tim Scott, shared their support and concern for Arrington on their Twitter posts.
The National Republican Congressional Committee also shared well wishes via Twitter.
The incident is under investigation by the Charleston County Police.