Motorcyclist Dies in Crash on S.C. Highway 49

A Donalds, South Carolina resident passed away on Sunday night after his motorcycle collided with a car along S.C. Highway 49.

Laurens County Coroner Vickie Cheek identified the victim as 54-year-old Kevin Bruce McClain of 1104 Smith St. Extension. She said he died at the scene around 7:45 p.m.

Trooper Joe Hovis with the South Carolina Highway Patrol said the accident occurred at about 7:35 p.m. at the intersection of S.C. Highway 49 and Curry Road. 

A driver in a 2003 Honda was reportedly heading north on the highway and turning left onto Curry Road when McClain’s Harley Davidson motorcycle struck the car.

Hovis disclosed that McClain was thrown from his motorcycle and he wasn’t wearing a helmet. He died from blunt force trauma.

The driver of the Honda was wearing a seat belt and was uninjured. That individual wasn’t named but troopers said they were 18 years old and from Clinton.

Highway Patrol continues to investigate the crash.

In South Carolina, only motorcycle operators and passengers under 21 are legally required to wear a helmet. That helmet must be approved by the Department of Highways and Public Transportation and it must have either a neck or chin strap and have reflectors on both sides.

While other riders are not mandated to wear helmets, it’s highly recommended. Head injuries are the number one cause of death in motorcycle accidents. Furthermore, when a biker gets into a collision, a helmet reduces the likelihood of head injuries by as much as 30 percent. When riders are not wearing a helmet, they are 40 percent more likely to be killed in a crash.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says motorcycle riders are overrepresented in traffic fatalities. In 2018, 4,985 bikers were killed. This represented a five percent reduction from the previous year. The NHTSA reported that the use of DOT-compliant motorcycle helmets was 71.0 per- cent in 2018.