Traffic fatality

A Greenwood man died Monday morning after the moped he was driving was struck by a passing vehicle.

Tony Lee Patterson, 51, of Old Abbeville Highway died at about 11:50 a.m. Monday at the scene of the wreck, on the 300 block of Highway 34, according to a news release from the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office.

Patterson had been driving a moped north along Highway 34 when two vehicles passed him. The second vehicle struck the moped, the release said, causing Patterson to run off the shoulder of the road and hit a guard rail.

When Greenwood police arrived at the scene Monday morning, they found a 2014 Toyota 4Runner and a 2003 Honda Accord parked on the roadway, with the moped on the ground next to the guardrail and Patterson lying under the guardrail, according to a report. After EMS found Patterson had died and the coroner’s office responded, officers spoke with the two other drivers on scene.

The woman who had been driving the Toyota said she had pulled up behind the moped and, after checking for oncoming traffic, went to pass Patterson, who was going about 25 mph. She told police she looked in her rear-view mirror and saw the Honda speeding toward her, and with the moped beside her Toyota, she decided to just continue forward to try and complete her pass.

The Honda swerved as it approached, striking the moped and throwing Patterson from it before hitting the guardrail, the report said.

The woman driving the Honda told police she was pulling up behind the Toyota, which was moving slowly, and she entered the oncoming lane to pass the Toyota when it pulled out in front of her, cutting her off. To prevent a collision, the woman said she turned right to avoid the Toyota, then lost control and struck the guardrail.

She didn’t see the moped until after she got out of the Honda, the report said. When an officer asked her how fast she was traveling, someone who was not in the car with her said about 45 mph, and the woman then agreed, the report said.

“It is worth note that this area of Ninety Six Highway is a 45 mph speed zone that is clearly posted with signs,” the report said. “(Redacted) advised that she was the only occupant in the vehicle.”

Greenwood police requested that the state Highway Patrol assist in investigating the wreck. Patterson’s death and the collision are still under investigation by the Greenwood Police Department, the Greenwood County Coroner’s Office and the Highway Patrol Multi-Disciplinary Accident Investigation Team.