Driver who collided with SC candidate Katie Arrington was drunk driving

Katie Arrington appears in an image taken from her campaign site.

CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C. — The driver killed in a head-on collision involving South Carolina congressional candidate Katie Arrington had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the legal limit.

The updated traffic collision report released Wednesday by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office showed that the driver, Helen White, 69, had a blood alcohol level of .153%. The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration in all states is .08%.

White was killed on impact after her car hit the vehicle carrying Arrington, 47, in the passenger seat and her friend Jacqueline Goff, 59, who was driving, on the night of June 22. Both parties were traveling down Highway 17 near the community of Adams Run, though White was traveling in the wrong direction on the highway.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” Friday morning, Arrington asked for thoughts and prayers for White’s family.

“They’re dealing with a tremendous loss as well,” she said. “But I think this is something we need to be cognizant and aware of, drunk driving kills one in three in traffic accidents in South Carolina.

She added, “Don’t let anyone drinking get behind the wheel of a car.”

Capt. Roger Antonio, a public information officer with the sheriff’s office, said in a June 25 press release that deputies at the scene “did not have an indication of the presence of alcoholic beverage in either Ms. White’s or Ms. Goff’s vehicle.”

Arrington suffered rib fractures, abdominal injuries and a spinal fracture from the crash and underwent multiple surgeries. She was released from the Medical University of South Carolina last week, but Goff remains in the hospital.

A state GOP representative, Arrington is the Republican candidate for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District after beating Rep. Mark Sanford in the June primary.

Her Democratic opponent, Joe Cunningham, paused his campaign activities while she recovered.

Arrington is expected to return to the campaign trail next week.