2010-11-12 / Front Page

Driver in fatal wreck charged with felony DUI

By TIM GULLA Ledger Staff Writer tim@gaffneyledger.com

Bobby Dean Littlejohn, 47, of Kelly Street in Gaffney died Oct. 31 when this vehicle plunged off this bridge and crashed upside-down in a creek. (Ledger file photo) Bobby Dean Littlejohn, 47, of Kelly Street in Gaffney died Oct. 31 when this vehicle plunged off this bridge and crashed upside-down in a creek. (Ledger file photo) A 38-year-old Gaffney man was arrested and charged with felony driving under the influence of alcohol Wednesday in connection with a fatal Oct. 31 crash on Ellis Ferry Road.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol contends in an arrest warrant that Jackie Bernard Studyvance, of Oakview Drive, was under the influence of alcohol when the car he was driving flipped off a bridge and landed on its roof in the middle of a creek.

A passenger in the vehicle, 47- year-old Bobby Dean Littlejohn, of Kelly Street, was killed in the crash.

During an appearance before a Cherokee County magistrate on Wednesday afternoon, Studyvance’s bond on the felony DUI charge was set at $50,000, according to the Cherokee County Detention Center.

While the arrest warrant filed by the Highway Patrol claims Studyvance was driving under the influence of alcohol it does not list a blood alcohol level.

The Highway Patrol and the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office previously reported that the accident occurred at about 6:30 a.m. on Oct. 31. Studyvance’s vehicle ran off the right side of the roadway after coming out of a curve and then went over the guard rail of the Charlie H. Sarratt Bridge, county coroner Dennis Fowler had reported.

The accident wasn’t immediately discovered, however. Studyvance reportedly managed to free himself from the wreckage and crawl up the embankment to the edge of the roadway, where a nearby neighbor heard him calling for help.

Authorities were notified of the wreck at about 8:30 a.m. Studyvance, who was injured in the crash, was flown by helicopter to a Charlotte hospital for treatment.

Fowler said Thursday that Littlejohn died as a result of blunt force trauma to the body and that the manner of his death has been ruled accidental.

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