The moments following the crash are often a blur when you're involved in a car accident. However, per South Carolina law, those on the scene must adhere to legal responsibilities and obligations.
First, try to stop your car and ensure it is positioned safely near the scene of the crash. Then, call 911 to report the accident. While most folks go into full-blown panic mode, you need to stay calm so you can process the situation. If you notice that there are injured people, give them "reasonable assistance." Per South Carolina Code of Laws, that could include transporting hurt people to a hospital or calling an ambulance for them.
If you're in a car crash, you need to be prepared to exchange contact information with other drivers at the accident scene. If the person who caused the collision is present, make sure to get their name, phone number, address, and insurance info. If witnesses are present, get their contact info, too, in case our team needs to obtain their account later.
Next, try to piece together how the car crash happened. This is an appropriate time to take photos of the cars, wreckage, and debris. Ask yourself if you think a vehicle failed to follow the rules of the road, like speeding or failing to stop at a stop sign.
Regardless of how minor your injuries may appear and who may be to blame for the accident, get legal advice from Theos Law Firm first before giving any recorded statements or refusing medical care.
Time and again, auto accident victims agree to early settlements provided by insurance companies because the offer seems like a lot. But what if you return to work after recovering from an accident, only for your pain to return?
With adjusters, lawyers, and investigators at their disposal, insurance agencies will do everything in their power to minimize the compensation you deserve. Don't let them pick on you or silence your voice. If you or a loved are victims of a negligent car or truck accident in South Carolina, contact Theos Law Firm today. We have the team, tools, and experience to fight back on your behalf, no matter how complicated your case may seem.
To schedule an appointment for your free consultation, contact Theos Law Firm in James Island today.
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - James Island Public Service District says they’re in need of a revamped fire station to make the crew’s environment more of a home.The JIPSD requested permission to issue $6,500,000 in general obligation bonds for a whole new building from the Charleston County finance committee on Thursday.“It’s a long-standing problem for the JIPSD,” Dave Schaeffer, district manager for the JIPSD, said. “We got to the point where we need to address it.”The building for...
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - James Island Public Service District says they’re in need of a revamped fire station to make the crew’s environment more of a home.
The JIPSD requested permission to issue $6,500,000 in general obligation bonds for a whole new building from the Charleston County finance committee on Thursday.
“It’s a long-standing problem for the JIPSD,” Dave Schaeffer, district manager for the JIPSD, said. “We got to the point where we need to address it.”
The building for Fire Station #2 for the James Island Public Service District has been standing since 1964. Aside from adding a bay in the 1980s, the crews have been working in and out of a small living room, kitchen, a few beds and one bathroom.
Shawn Engleman, deputy fire chief of administration for the JIPSD, says they normally have 3-4 people in the building at one time, but they could have up to 8-10 people during a severe storm.
“It’s difficult to work at times,” Engleman said. “It’s very cramped.”
Schaeffer says the time for this change is now.
“Our firemen, this is their home away from home,” Schaeffer said. “They eat here. They sleep here.”
The team wants to tear this building down and create a new home for these firefighters. With the request from Charleston County council, a new bay for an extra truck, more bathrooms, offices and a decontamination area for equipment can be added, amongst others.
“A lot has changed in the last 40 years,” Schaeffer said. “There’s now 40,000 people that live on James Island. So, it’s very important that we have a station to respond appropriately.”
They say construction could start as early as 2025. While this takes place, Engleman says they will have a temporary spot somewhere near this location for about 18 months while the new building is being constructed.
“We just hope they pass it so we can move forward and get this project going,” Engleman said.
If the money is approved all the way through county council, it will be back in the public service district’s hands as early as August. If everything goes smoothly, Fire Station #2 could be up and running by 2027.
All proposed design renderings for Fire Station #2 were done by Rosenblum Coe Architects.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
JAMES ISLAND — Charleston Water System is investigating a sewer main break on Harborview Road that poured unknown amounts of wastewater into James Island Creek.This is the second time in three years that a break occurred in this area.Environmentalists say the repeated frequency, combined with current bacteria concerns, suggest better system maintenance is needed, along with riddance of septic tanks adjacent to the creek.A contract diver discovered on the afternoon of March 9 that two pipes had separated, causing th...
JAMES ISLAND — Charleston Water System is investigating a sewer main break on Harborview Road that poured unknown amounts of wastewater into James Island Creek.
This is the second time in three years that a break occurred in this area.
Environmentalists say the repeated frequency, combined with current bacteria concerns, suggest better system maintenance is needed, along with riddance of septic tanks adjacent to the creek.
A contract diver discovered on the afternoon of March 9 that two pipes had separated, causing the leak.
A fisherman notified the water utility March 8 of the underwater break in the water below the Julian Thomas Buxton Jr. Bridge. It took time for inspection crews to get to the site because of the tides, but the pumps were turned off shortly after, said Mike Saia, a spokesman for the utility.
Shutting off the pumps eliminated the release of additional wastewater into the water system.
This sewer main manages wastewater from a broad area of the James Island Public Service District and parts of unincorporated Charleston County. The same one broke about three years ago in the marsh but closer to Plum Island. It took a number of days to repair.
The breaks are a big concern, said Andrew Wunderley, executive director at Charleston Waterkeeper.
“It’s an established problem with bacteria pollution at James Island Creek from human sources and other sources, as well,” he said. “Any additional bacteria discharge in a creek is a concern of course.”
Charleston Waterkeeper consistently tests the quality of a number of waterbodies in the Lowcountry, including James Island Creek. The waterkeepers sample for bacteria as an indicator of the possible presence of pathogens.
Persistently high bacteria levels have been identified in the James Island Creek, mainly in the Folly Road area. Wunderley said any input of bacteria is a problem.
It is a challenge for iron pipes to survive long-term in soft environments like the marshy parts of Charleston. Saia said Charleston Water System is considering grant funding to help replace the James Island pipes that have seen two breaks in three years.
This notion is good progress, Wunderley said, “but I think we need to accelerate that project.”
“Whatever needs to be done to bump that up in the priority list, they need to be thinking about it,” he added.
A vactor truck was on site March 9 to pump down the wet wells and pump stations at both sides of the break. Because of this, no additional wastewater will spill into the creek, Saia said. The utility is working on a plan to repair the pipes.
People are urged to avoid swimming, fishing or using the area for other recreational activities until further notice.
Interruptions to customers’ service is not expected while assessments and repairs are made. No road closures have been announced.
In the meantime, people can do like the fisherman on March 8, and report possible main breaks. It’s helpful in identifying them and stopping the wasterwater spills.
People living in the Clarks Point neighborhood and along Oak Point Road will be moved from septic to sewer lines by December of 2026.JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The James Island Public Service District will begin work to replace septic tanks and connect sewer lines to 199 properties as residents will be moved from septic to sewer lines.People living in the Clarks Point neighborhood and along Oak Point Road will be moved from septic to sewer lines by December of 2026.The total projected cost is about $10.3 million....
People living in the Clarks Point neighborhood and along Oak Point Road will be moved from septic to sewer lines by December of 2026.
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - The James Island Public Service District will begin work to replace septic tanks and connect sewer lines to 199 properties as residents will be moved from septic to sewer lines.
People living in the Clarks Point neighborhood and along Oak Point Road will be moved from septic to sewer lines by December of 2026.
The total projected cost is about $10.3 million.
“So we’ve been at this since 2020. And that’s when the James Island Water Quality Task Force was created. So the James Island Creek was designated as an impaired waterway and the task force needed to start addressing the issues,” District Manager Dave Schaeffer says.
Director of Land Water Wildlife at the Coastal Conservation League, Riley Egger says septic tanks released decomposed matter that can be detrimental if disease causing bacteria makes its way into waterways.
“Septic tanks along the coastal zone especially can be particularly dangerous knowing that they face certain conditions from sea level rise from groundwater intrusion and just the challenges of living on the coastal zone,” Egger says.
Egger says the James Island grant is a good step in fixing one area that faces problems.
“When we set up septic tanks that are particularly dense right on the waterways, right on our wetlands, we’re really setting up the future to fail,” Egger says. “What we really need to do is consider septic tanks and where we place them more within the planning process and more of our regulations. The best way to prevent a septic tank from failing is before it ever it gets in the ground.”
The homes impacted by the district’s project can expect a letter detailing the plan in the coming months.
The federal money for the project had a deadline to be used by December of 2026. Schaeffer says it will take time to get proper and easements and estimates groundwork will begin toward the end of 2024.
“Obviously we have started already with preliminary engineering and surveying and the easements that are required and the permitting that is required. So that is a years long process,” he says.
Schaeffer says there will be public engagement sessions to answer questions for people who live on properties being connected so their questions will be answered over the course of the years long project.
“This is kind of like 199 mini projects. We have to work with each one of the homeowners as far as where the pump is going to go, where’s the power to be able to have the pump, to be able to get each one of those households on to the sanitary sewer system. It’s kind of an individual project,” Schaeffer explains.
The sewer lines will be laid underground, and a pump will replace each home’s connection to a septic tank.
“We’re the last utility going into these neighborhoods. So there’s already power and there’s already cable and water and things for us to hit. And so instead of trenching, open trenching, we have the technology to be able to bore through so that we’re not tearing up the roads and there’s less disturbance for the community,” Schaeffer says.
Schaeffer thanked the state representatives who lobbied for this money and says the district will continue to work to replace aging septic with lines as they are able in the coming years.
The cost breakdown is as follows:
Upcoming James Island Public Service District Wastewater meetings:
Meetings are located at Fire Station 1 on 1108 Folly Rd.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.The 6.5-acre parcel off Dills Bluff Road, near the intersection of Camp Road, is currently owned by the town’s public service district. KT Properties President Kyle Taylor said they plan to...
A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.
JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - A developer looking to build on just over six acres of land on James Island held a community meeting with neighbors as the potential project moves forward.
The 6.5-acre parcel off Dills Bluff Road, near the intersection of Camp Road, is currently owned by the town’s public service district. KT Properties President Kyle Taylor said they plan to build a 20,000 to 25,000 square foot commercial center to hold about 10 to 15 businesses.
“Lowcountry-style architecture is where we’re heading,” Taylor said. “We see mixed-use retail, some restaurant, small to medium scale, some coffee, some office, medical office, just a variety of uses to support the local community.”
The district attempted to develop a new operations center on the property for several years. The projects were put on hold amid pushback from neighbors against the plan.
The property then went up for sale in 2021, and developer KT Properties is under contract with the public service district to purchase the land.
Toward the rear of the parcel, Taylor said they plan on proceeding with building 25 attached townhome units to make living on the island more affordable and save as many grand trees as possible. Taylor said those changes were made based on feedback from neighbors.
“First and foremost, we want to make sure the community knew that we weren’t doing a cross-connection road,” Taylor said. “That was the most important concerns for neighbors that we weren’t going to send traffic to the neighborhood, which we are not. Especially, making sure we are taking care of stormwater management by adding a third pond was maybe some new information for some folks inside.”
Some neighbors said the project is too dense compared to the surrounding area and the land could instead be used for a park.
“The open space that they’re proposing is not enough,” neighbor John Peters said. “That little open space in the center is like hanging out in the parking lot. It’s what I’ve been telling people because that’s what it is.”
Others, however, said it’s exactly what James Island needs to grow.
“I think it’s the beautification, and the fact that they are really addressing the stormwater issue,” neighbor Joanne Root said. “It’s very well executed, and it’s going to be very attractive, and I think it’s really going to uplift this area.”
Peters believes the project does not fit into the area where it’s slotted to be.
“There’s hawks and owls that live in there. There’s concern with the wilderness there,” he said. “They come over and take out those squirrels, so there’s a lot of little things that are being overlooked in lieu of developing to just add more citizens to the neighborhood that we already have enough citizens in.”
Root, however, believes there’s enough of a market to build the development.
“I think the townhouses would be perfect, and I think there’s a big need for that,” she said. “There’s a lot of people that can’t maintain a yard that are definitely looking for that. It’s more progressive, I think, and more forward-thinking.”
As the project has been in the works for several years, Peters said he believes it should be up to the public to decide what happens with the land.
“Put it on the ballot and say, ‘Citizens, what do you want to do with this land?’ And come up with the best ideas possible,” he said. “If the citizens say they want a development, they put a development in there. If they want a park, we’ll put a park in there. If they want a fitness trail, let’s put a fitness trail.”
Taylor said he hopes the project will be finished with design and permitting around spring next year. He said construction would follow shortly after.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
JAMES ISLAND – Tucked away in an overgrown forest blanketed in draping Spanish moss, The May Forest Convent will soon become the centerpiece of a new state park.From the outside, the single-story beige building could be anything, but this was where Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy lived and spent their lives in service to their faith on the edge of Charleston Harbor with a panoramic view of the city.Much of the religious artifacts have been removed but the tall stained-glass windows forged in the 1800s and vaulted ...
JAMES ISLAND – Tucked away in an overgrown forest blanketed in draping Spanish moss, The May Forest Convent will soon become the centerpiece of a new state park.
From the outside, the single-story beige building could be anything, but this was where Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy lived and spent their lives in service to their faith on the edge of Charleston Harbor with a panoramic view of the city.
Much of the religious artifacts have been removed but the tall stained-glass windows forged in the 1800s and vaulted point of the chapel are the only giveaways to its former life.
Soon, it will serve a new purpose as an event venue.
Every day, the sisters would start their mornings together in prayer as the sunrise shined through the chapel’s stained-glass windows. They spent most of their days volunteering in the community, caring for their eldest sisters and spending time with one-another during mass, meals and free time.
Sister Mary Joseph, general superior of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy, made her vows in 1960 after graduating from high school. Now 80, she said many of her favorite memories throughout those 63 years of service are the times spent with sisters in their chapel after taking the vow “of commitment to the church and in service of God’s people.”
The Sisters of Charity congregation of nuns dates back nearly two centuries in Charleston. The group ran a school for free children of color in the 1840s, cared for both Union and Confederate wounded soldiers during the Civil War, founded the hospital that would evolve into the Roper St. Francis Healthcare system and ran social service organizations that helped those facing poverty.
As the congregation aged and fewer women joined the ranks, a decision was made to relocate its surviving members to the Bishop Gadsden retirement home and sell the property. The once sacred place of prayer is just a place of peace now, nestled along the waterfront. It sits empty, but the state has big plans for the site.
The 23-acre waterfront parcel was bought by the state in 2021 for $23.25 million. Located at the end of Fort Johnson Road, the convent was built in the 1950s.
The waterfront property offers a one-of-a-kind view that can only otherwise be seen from a boat in the harbor, complete with views of downtown Charleston, Fort Sumter, and the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. The waves gently grace the shore, offering a soothing sound in tune with the rustling trees.
Despite having a cash offer from a developer, the Catholic Church worked with the state to preserve the property. Many had hoped it would become a park to keep that rare view from being privatized. It’s a promise the state intends to keep.
The property is owned by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, which runs the marine lab next door, and is managed by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism.
“Unless you were a sister or visiting priest, chances are you didn’t know that this was tucked away back here,” said agency Director Duane Parrish. “This is a rare opportunity here. We envision the building to become a space for people to stay or to enjoy events like weddings, and for the property to become a place where people can relax along the harbor-front in a peaceful park setting.”
The venue will be similar to Charles Towne Landing, he added.
Director of State Parks Paul McCormack envisions the rental space will include overnight accommodations as well as a chapel area, a rental hall and dining offerings, and the scenic view will be a “prime wedding location along the harbor.”
“It may not look like it now but there’s no doubt about it, this would be a unique event space,” McCormack said. “To be right on the water outside of downtown and to have this view, it’s one of a kind.”
As it stands, the convent main building has 27 rooms, a chapel that seats 60 and a large open meeting space that can seat 125. Once updates are completed, they expect around 15-20 rooms. They also hope to add a dock along the water to complement the existing gazebo and bench swing.
McCormack said the biggest challenge is the convent is not turnkey and ready to rent out.
The property is undergoing evaluation as part of a master planning process that will map out the next 20 years for the entire Fort Johnson pointe, the area surrounding that part of James Island. The building needs to be reviewed by architects and engineers to see what the price tag will be to renovate.
“This was a treasured place of religion, which is evident by the chapel and other markers,” Parish said. “We want to acknowledge and honor its 70-year history as a convent, yet modernize it for future generations to cherish. It’s location along the harbor makes it the perfect place for weddings and events.”
The property was most recently used as a film set for the Netflix flick “Suncoast,” featuring Woody Harrelson and Laura Linney. A faux digital stained-glass window featured in the film still sits in the chapel as a centerpiece over the former altar.
This business model is a new approach to helping the department become more self-sustaining, Parrish said. Eventually, money made from renting the convent’s rooms and event space will go back into upkeep and renovations.
The undertaking is expected to have an architectural design in place by sometime in 2024. Parrish said his office has requested about $10 million in assistance from lawmakers, on top of the $5 million received last year.
While the future state park on the site has not been officially named, it is likely to be May Forest at Fort Johnson State Park. It’s a nod to the convent and the area’s rich history — the point at the end of Fort Johnson Road is where the first shots of the Civil War were fired on Fort Sumter.
When the property was bought by the Catholic Church, the sisters raised money to clear the land and build their new home. The building housed sisters and new members joining the religious community who needed to be trained.
Sister Mary Joseph said that as times changed, the needs of the sisters did too. Much of the building was renovated after Hurricane Hugo. By that time fewer sisters were joining and existing members needed somewhere to age in place. A great hall was added to become the “center of spirituality” and more rooms for the aging and semiretired sisters were built, as well as a medical wing for those needing more intense medical care.
Now, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy are only 12 members strong. While the decision to sell their home was a difficult one, Sister Mary Joseph said their top priority was ensuring their members were taken care of. It came down to knowing their financial and health care needs were too great.
“The sale of the property allowed us to move to Bishop Gadsden, which allowed us to provide continuing health care at different levels for our sisters,” Sister Mary Joseph said. “There is a strong sense of community at Bishop Gadsden. Our sisters there, who are able, can continue practicing their faith and provide ministry to other residents. It’s been life-giving in that sense for the sisters.”
Sister Mary Joseph said that the sisters’ faith, ministry and charity are gifts that they “continue to share wherever we are.”
A collection of artifacts and history panels are displayed in a room within the convent, which has been called the “Heritage Room.”
The state will soon open the former convent’s grounds for individuals looking to picnic or roam the property of the former convent.
“I’m so proud that our state stepped in to protect this property and its history by ensuring it’s accessible to everyone,” McCormack said. “The opportunities we have before us with this project are endless.”