It was around 1:32 a.m. when a 2016 Dodge pickup truck collided into the back of a tractor-trailer on I-85. Like most people who have been involved in an accident, the occupants of the Dodge pickup and the driver of the tractor-trailer got out of their vehicles to assess the damage that had been done and/or to see if those involved had sustained any injuries. Sadly, that is when tragedy struck.

image of asphalt from near distance

South Carolina State Troopers told WYFF that after Jeff Virgil Whitlock Jr., 76, and his grandson Jarrett James Whitlock, 18, got out of their Dodge pickup and were standing nearby to the vehicle, another tractor-trailer came up from behind hitting both the Dodge pickup truck and the Whitlocks. As a result of the impact, the tractor-trailer pushed the pickup truck forward which then hit the 52-year-old who had been driving the tractor-trailer that was initially involved in the crash. He was transported to a nearby hospital, however, the source did not provide any details on his condition. Unfortunately, troopers were able to confirm that the Whitlocks died at the scene of the crash.

What can I do to keep myself safe after having been involved in an auto accident?

While it is normal to be in a state of shock after being involved in an accident, it is important for you to remain calm and focus on the steps you need to take to ensure another accident doesn’t occur. Whether you may have been involved in an accident on the highway or on a roadway that is less busy, you need to be sure you do the following to help prevent any more incidents from occurring.

  1. If you can, safely move your vehicle out of the roadway so that it is not blocking the flow of traffic. In the event you are unable to move your vehicle, be sure you either put your hazard lights on, use flares, or place orange safety cones or warning triangles around the accident scene so that you alert other drivers that there has been a crash.
  2. If you sustained an injury, keep yourself stable so that you don’t increase the severity of the injury.
  3. If you or someone else is in need of immediate medical attention, call 911 right away. The quicker law enforcement officials and emergency medical personnel arrives on the scene, the quicker they can secure it and help prevent another car or truck from crashing into you or your damaged vehicle.
  4. If your vehicle is smoking or catches fire, move far away from it but avoid standing too close to the road. There are many distracted drivers out who are out and not paying attention. In 2016 alone, 3,450 lives were claimed in a distracted driving accident and you don’t want to become another statistic so always keep a safe distance from the roadway and other hazardous areas. [Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration].

[Source: Car Insurance Guide].

One thing you will want to do following the accident is consult with a Greenville or Spartanburg, SC personal injury attorney. The fact is, your property damage and/or injuries might entitle you to hundreds or even thousands of dollars and Spartanburg, SC accident lawyer Paul Hammack can determine just how much this might be. You are encouraged to contact Hammack Law Firm now by calling 864-326-3333 to get an initial consultation scheduled.


Paul Hammack has 18 years’ experience as a trial attorney and is licensed in South Carolina and Georgia. He worked for insurance companies for 15 of those years so he has the knowledge and experience to get the most out of your workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. Unlike most big box firms, Paul is not afraid of taking a case to trial. If you are hurt on the job or by someone else’s negligence we want to help. Better call Paul!

You can always contact Hammack Law Firm at:


223 West Stone Avenue

Greenville, SC 29609

Phone: 864-326-3333


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