NEWBERRY — A wreck that injured five people is still under investigation.
The wreck occurred at 9:51 p.m. Friday when a GMC Yukon overturned and ejected four of its five riders.
Arroyo Alvaraez, 21, of Clyde Avenue, Newberry, was driving the vehicle north on Oxner Road near Highway 34 when he ran off the right side of the road, over corrected and the vehicle overturned, according to S.C. Highway Patrol Lance Corporal Billy Elder.
All five people in the car were not wearing seat belts and all but one 16-year-old in the car were ejected. The teen, whose name was not released because of his age, was pinned in the car and had to be helped out by a host of rescue personnel that converged on the scene.
In addition to Alvaraez, Christian Martinez, 20; Freddie Espinoza, 24 and Mike Martinez, 17, were all ejected.
The most critical of those injured were airlifted to hospitals in Spartanburg and Columbia and the rest were taken to Palmetto Richland.
The S.C. Highway Patrol Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) is continuing to investigate the wreck.
Elder said while seat belt usage continues to climb, not wearing a seat belt is one of the primary causes of traffic deaths in the state.
Not wearing seat belts is one of the continued violations that the traffic officers continue to crack down on.
Just last week, Newberry lost Nicholas Elijah Gallman, 19, after he was ejected from a vehicle on Nance Street in Newberry. Gallman was not wearing a seat belt.
Gallman’s memory was honored at the Newberry High Football game Friday night. Gallman played with the team before graduating in 2010.
The St. Phillips and Pomaria fire departments, the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office and Newberry, Prosperity, Whitmire and Pomaria rescue squads all assisted on the wreck scene and with setting up landing zoning.