An aspiring model who just celebrated her 21st birthday and her roommate were killed Sunday when the car they were in stalled on Interstate 85.
Ashley Elizabeth Carruthers, who turned 21 on Friday, and Andrew Kaye Schmuck, a 32-year-old father, were killed instantly when a truck slammed into the rear-end of the 1992 Ford Taurus they were in, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore said.
The only person to survive in the Taurus was 20-year-old Tristan Parris Lavelle. He was in critical condition at the Greenville Memorial Hospital early Monday, Shore said.
Carruthers, Schmuck and Lavelle were all roommates in a Greenville apartment. They had been to Atlanta and were headed back home when their car stalled in a middle lane of I-85 northbound, near mile marker 20, at 9:15 p.m., Shore said.
Mile marker 20 is between the Clemson Boulevard and Liberty Highway exits in Anderson.
Schmuck was driving the car. Lavelle and Carruthers, who were dating, were in the backseat of the car. Officials are not sure if the three were wearing seat belts when the crash occurred.
“When we talked to Andrew’s father, he was surprised that his son was driving the car, because it had been in the shop,” Shore said. “We’re looking into what it had been in the shop for. Something happened for him to stop or to slow down in the middle lane of the interstate.”
Shahram Lalianpour, a 55-year-old Gaffney man, was driving the truck that crashed into the Taurus. His vehicle glanced off the back of the other car and came to rest in a wooded area off to the right of the interstate.
Lalianpour was taken to AnMed Health Medical Center. He had been treated and released as of Monday morning, hospital spokeswoman Heidi Charalambous said.
Shore said officials are looking for a man who was driving a Corvette. The man stopped at the scene and helped those who were hurt. He left once medical personnel arrived, but he may have been a witness to the crash.
The crash at mile marker 20 was the second wreck to occur on I-85 Sunday.
The other accident — at mile marker 40 — occurred at around 9 p.m. In that incident, according to witnesses, a vehicle was speeding up and slowing down repeatedly until a tractor trailer came upon it from behind and collided with it.
The front bumper of the tractor trailer went through the vehicle and came to rest against the back of the driver’s seat, according to witnesses.
The driver of that car was carried to Greenville Memorial Hospital, where he remained in critical condition early Monday, Shore said.
Shore and South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers did not have any further information on that wreck early Monday.