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12-year-old girl killed in SC when SUV fell down embankment, hit trees

Wreck (stock image - Getty Images)

PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. — A 12-year-old girl was killed in South Carolina when an SUV she was a passenger in went down an embankment and hit multiple trees, SC Highway Patrol says, WHNS reports.

The crash happened around 3 p.m. Saturday on Dacusville highway.

A 2002 Chevrolet SUV was going south and reportedly went off the right side of the road. Troopers say the driver over-corrected, which caused the SUV to fall down an embankment on the road and hit several trees.

The driver was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, and the passenger was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The passenger was identified by the coroner’s office Sunday as 12-year-old Kelsi Merck.

She was wearing a seat belt during the crash but suffered blunt force trauma.

She was a seventh-grader at Dacusville Middle School, school officials say.

The Pickens County School District released the following statement:

This weekend, the Dacusville Middle School family is grieving the loss of 7th grade student Kelsi Merck. Kelsi was a Dacusville cheerleader and an honor student. She had served a year as a member on our student council during her time at Dacusville. Kelsi was a remarkable young lady and will always be remembered for her friendship and kindness to others.

Kelsi is the second DMS student to pass away this week. Our hearts are broken, and we appreciate the outpouring of support that you have shown and will continue to show for each other and for our students. I encourage you to talk to your children before Monday to offer emotional support and to ensure that they are prepared to return to school. As before, we will have counselors available at the school for students who need help while grieving the loss of their friends.

Our hearts and minds are with the Merck family this week. If you have any questions about how DMS will continue to support students this week, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Sincerely,

Wanda Tharpe

Principal

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