By: Kristen Hegel
A single car crash on Monday, December 13, around 4 P.M., took the lives of two Lancaster County teenagers. According to Sergeant Kelly Hughes of the SC Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred close to where Phillipstown Road and Fork Hill Road intersect, near Kershaw.
17-year-old Justin Brewer, of Kershaw, and 16-year-old Derrick Peach, of Heath Springs, were the victims of the fatal crash. Juniors, Brewer and Peach, attended Andrew Jackson High School and were involved in sports. Both were wide-receivers for the Andrew Jackson Volunteers’ football team. Vice-Principal of Andrew Jackson High School, Alex Dabney, said “they were well-liked by their peers and faculty alike.”
According to Dabney, a student death typically affects one grade in particular, but in this case, the whole school seems to be devastated by the loss. “Ninth graders all the way to my seniors are struggling with this today. Justin and Derrick were so full of life. They were your typical students. They had real outgoing personalities. When they walked through the doors, they always had a smile on their faces. It’s really affecting everyone here from students to faculty,” Dabney explained.
Brewer, driving a 2004 Mazda, drove past a stop sign heading southbound on Phillipstown Road when the car overturned after hitting an embankment. Brewer died instantly on impact. Lancaster County Deputy Coroner, Karla Knight Deese, who was filling in for Coroner Mike Morris, said Brewer was pronounced dead on the scene. Peach, on the other hand, survived the impact and was airlifted to Columbia to receive treatment at Palmetto Health Richland. The surgery failed, and Peach was pronounced dead around 8:50 P.M., about five hours after the crash.
According to Hughes, both teens were wearing their seatbelts. The wreck is still being investigated by authorities. Their visitation was held this past Thursday at the Lancaster Funeral Home, and their funeral was held the next day at the Second Baptist Church in Lancaster. The sudden and tragic loss has shaken the close-knit town. These two students will not only be missed by their peers, but by their whole community.