No charges have been filed in a head-on collision between two vehicles on Friday that left two people with severe injuries. Authorities are expected to continue their investigation today.
The wreck happened about 11:40 a.m. on Rutland Drive just east of Northland Boulevard, police said.
A 1982 Mercedes car was traveling west on Rutland Drive in the outside lane when it was struck by a 2000 Ford SUV, police have said. The SUV drifted into the westbound lane and struck the sedan head-on.
Each vehicle had one occupant, and both drivers were transported to Georgia Regents Medical Center after being extricated.
The driver of the SUV, 26-year-old Barry Len Miller, of Sugarcreek Drive in Grovetown, Ga., was found to be at fault in the collision for drifting left of center, according to the accident report.
“Possible drug paraphernalia was found in plain view after it fell out of Mr. Miller’s vehicle,” the report stated.
A search of the vehicle revealed a plastic bottle with a brown, odorless liquid, two metal pipes with steel wool inside, steel wool, a spoon, two pill bottles and a cell phone, according to the report.
Officers located Miller in the hospital, according to the report. He told them that while reaching for his phone, he crossed over the center line and struck the Mercedes, which was driven by 25-year-old Sovonia Green of Aiken.
Miller told officers he had not consumed any alcohol, and he consented to a blood sample for testing, according to the report. The samples were placed into evidence for testing by the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division.
Sgt. Jake Mahoney, a spokesman for Aiken Public Safety, said results of the testing on Miller’s blood were not available on Monday afternoon.
Aiken Public Safety’s Accident Reconstruction Team will be on the scene of the collision today beginning at 9 a.m. to map out the collision. Mahoney said charges in the case will depend on that reconstruction and the associated investigation.
“We’re still waiting to determine the cause of the collision,” he said. “We will make the appropriate charges based on the evidence.”
Traffic on Rutland Drive will be temporarily diverted one to two hours while the team is on scene. Both westbound lanes of Rutland Drive will be closed. Traffic on Rutland Drive will share the eastbound lane and will be reduced to one lane of travel.
“We ask that residents avoid the area to reduce any delays and to use caution if they do travel on Rutland Drive during the mapping of the collision scene,” Mahoney said.
• Teddy Kulmala covers the crime beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.