Bluffton woman killed in crash on Hwy 278

Bluffton woman killed in crash on Hwy 278

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - A Bluffton woman died after a serious wreck on Highway 278.

Terry Weston, 73, was taken to the hospital on Sunday night, and passed away at home one day later.

Investigators say the victim was making a left turn at the intersection when she was hit by an oncoming vehicle. Beaufort County Officials say wrecks like this one happen all too often on Highway 278, and they're working on a solution.

Highway 278 spans from Hardeeville, all the way through Hilton Head. It's one of Beaufort County's most traveled roads, and it's seen its fair share of dangerous accidents.

"We want to make sure that people are traveling up and down that road as safe as possible. We want to minimize crashes as much as possible," said Beaufort County Traffic Engineer Colin Kinton.

Last year the county asked the South Carolina Department of Transportation to audit Highway 278 after a rash of serious wrecks. The Bluffton Township Fire District responded to many of them.

"People need to stop being in a rush, and when they cross 278 is a big one. Where there's no controlled intersections, people need to be sure they don't pull out in front of somebody," said Capt. Randy Hunter, Bluffton Township Fire District.

Over the course of nine months, engineers have studied high volume intersections along Highway 278 – and they're using years of traffic accident data for a traffic safety audit – looking for ways to minimize wrecks and fatalities on the busy road.

"They're doing some recommendations for making the traffic signals safer, more visible, more pavement markings, and looking at where improvements can be made," said Kinton.

Until the department of transportation and county engineers determine what needs to be changed, and implement the safety recommendations, fire officials say it's up to drivers to look out for one another.

"What we ask for our community is if we obey the speed limits, use caution to be aware of our surroundings, then we're going to be a little safer and be able to avoid accidents more," said Capt. Hunter.

WTOC spoke with engineers from the South Carolina Department of Transportation and they said the study is almost complete. They expect to have it complete by February 2016. As soon as the report is released, we'll be the first to let you know what Beaufort County is doing to make Highway 278 safer for you.

The Beaufort County Coroner's Office says they are conducting an autopsy to determine Weston's cause of death.

Copyright 2015 WTOC. All rights reserved.