24-year-old driver dies after SUV collides with Amtrak train, SC officials say

A South Carolina man died early Tuesday morning after the SUV he was driving collided with an Amtrak train, the Berkeley County Coroner’s Office said.

Billy Branham, a 24-year-old Summerville resident, was killed as a result of the crash, according to Coroner Darnell Hartwell.

The two-vehicle collision happened after 10 p.m. Monday, said Master Trooper Mitchell Ridgeway of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Branham was driving a 2008 Ford SUV west on Medway Road, according to Ridgeway. Near the intersection with U.S. 52, which is in the Goose Creek area about 20 miles north of Charleston, the collision happened when Branham pulled in front of an Amtrak train, Hartwell said.

Branham was taken to an area hospital, where he died at 1:10 a.m., according to Hartwell.

Ridgeway said nobody on the train was hurt, and no other injuries were reported. The train stayed on the tracks following the collision, according to Ridgeway.

There was no word if Branham was wearing a seat belt.

Information about why the Ford pulled in front of the train was not available, but the crash continues to be investigated by the Highway Patrol and coroner’s office.

Through Sunday, 890 people had died on South Carolina roads in 2023, according to the state Department of Public Safety, and at least three happened on train tracks. Last year, 1,091 people died in crashes in South Carolina, DPS reported.

At least 53 people have died in Berkeley County crashes in 2023, according to DPS data. There were 49 deaths reported in the county in 2022, DPS reported.