Road to be resurfaced where biker was killed in wreck

Road to be resurfaced where biker was killed in wreck

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. — Robert Hritsko, 56, died when his Harley-Davidson sideswiped an 18-wheeler Monday afternoon on Highway 21 in Chester County.

Hours after the deadly crash, there was outrage about the condition of the well-traveled road where it happened.

Channel 9 aired the report on Tuesday and less than 24 hours later, workers were at the scene promising the road would be fixed.

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The road hasn't been paved in decades, and witnesses believe serious damage from a previous crash caused Hritsko to lose control of his bike.

There are long, deep grooves in the pavement at the crash scene, that were left when two 18-wheelers collided there last year. Many people told Channel 9 that the leftover damage can easily catch a motorcycle’s tire and send it right off the road.

The Department of Transportation plans to level out the area and fill in the grooves by next week.

Fort Lawn Fire Chief Allen Culp said even driving a large, heavy fire engine there doesn't feel safe.

"It's rough. It'll jerk you all around," Culp said. “That's like a forgotten road. Nobody will do anything about it."

Janet Anderson was outside in her garden Monday when she heard the crash and knew it was bad. It was in her front yard.

"I saw the debris flying up in the sky, and I ran over there, and I saw the man in the road. It makes you want to cry because it shouldn't have happened," she said.

Highway 21 from the York County line to Fort Lawn is being redone mile by mile. The stretch from Fincher Road South where the accident happened hasn't seen improvements since the 1980s.

Herbert Fincher lives on Fincher Road, which is named after his family. It’s only feet from the crash scene.

"I just heard a ‘boom,’" he said. Over several months, he's contacted (the Department of Transportation,) even the governor's office to try and draw attention to the problems on the road. It's dangerous for anybody to go down it.

On Tuesday, South Carolina DOT told Channel 9 that the proposal to finish paving Highway 21 from Fincher Road to Highway 9 was sent for approval last week. The project will cost just over $3 million and work will begin in 2020.

DOT estimates 5,500 vehicles a day travel Highway 21, with more of them near York County and slightly fewer closer to Fort Lawn.

The Highway Patrol has not officially said what caused the accident or if the condition of the road was a contributing factor.