Dashcam video captures North Charleston crash that killed boy, 4, and grandmother – Charleston Post Courier
NORTH CHARLESTON — The driver criminally charged in last week’s fatal car crash smashed his SUV into the back of a stopped sedan containing a 4-year-old boy and his grandmother, sending the vehicles careening toward the busy intersection, video obtained by The Post and Courier shows.
More than a week after the collision, which killed the grandmother and grandson, police have said little. But dashcam footage taken the morning of July 29 by a semi-truck traversing the intersection of Cosgrove and Rivers avenues offers some insight into the seven car pile-up.
Johan Brink, a truck driver making a delivery that morning, captured footage of the initial collision and the moments leading up to it. He said in an Aug. 4 interview that he saw the victim’s sedan “burst into flames.” From inside his vehicle, the trucker could feel the heat of the explosion on his skin.
Jo’siah Fragier, the North Charleston boy, and Johns Island resident Debora Page, 62, died at the scene of the collision that occurred just after 8:30 a.m. at the intersection of Cosgrove and Rivers avenues, according to authorities. Three additional people were transported to a hospital with injuries.
Police on July 30 charged James Hart with two counts of reckless homicide and booked him into the Charleston County jail. The 62-year-old man suffered minor injuries from the crash and was transported to the hospital, according to North Charleston police spokesman Harve Jacobs. He posted $200,000 bond.
The victims did not know Hart, according to the family’s attorney, Amanda McKendrick, of Mount Pleasant-based Brewer Law firm. Fragier and Page’s families were shocked and grief-stricken by the crash, she said. Family members declined an interview.
Brink’s dashcam footage captures the initial collision from the perspective of the trucker’s semi-trailer.
The time is 8:39 a.m. Brink inches toward the intersection to make a right turn off Cosgrove Avenue onto Rivers Avenue. Meanwhile, a Chrysler sedan in the westbound lane on Rivers Avenue stops at a traffic signal at the intersection.
As Brink turns right on Rivers Avenue, a white 2017 Ford Expedition races westward along Rivers Avenue toward the intersection and violently slams into the back of the stopped sedan.
Parts of the car instantly disintegrate. The impact sends the SUV and sedan careening into the intersection.
The cars then move out of view of Brink’s dashcam. An initial police report of the crash reveals that five additional vehicles became ensnared in the collision.
Brink, who was finishing a delivery of flatbed trailers from La Porte, Texas, to North Charleston, said he believes the SUV driver did not brake — despite the stopped vehicle in front of him.
“The sound it made when he hit that little car — it was like no other car accident I’ve ever heard,” Brink said.
He estimated the vehicle was speeding anywhere from 70 to 80 mph. The speed limit on that section of Rivers Avenue is 35 mph.
William Smith, who was waiting at a nearby bus stop that morning, had said at the scene that he saw two gas “explosions” as the cars crashed.
Firefighters worked throughout that morning to excavate the scorched sedan. The front hood of the SUV was completely torn apart. Shards of glass, debris and car parts lay scattered across the intersection, which remained closed until late afternoon.
Jacobs declined to provide the estimate speed for Hart’s vehicle. Brink provided a copy of the dashcam footage to police the day of …….