Jennings was on his way to school when bucket truck crossed center line
A Sims Middle School music teacher was killed in an accident Friday morning on Whitmire Highway, a mile or so from the school. According to a release by the Union County Coroner’s Office, the wreck happened just before 8 a.m. in the 1700 block of Whitmire Highway near Clairmont Road. The victim was identified as 31-year-old Stephen Lee Jennings of Union. He was the driver and only occupant of the vehicle. An autopsy was scheduled at Newberry Pathology Group. It is an ongoing investigation by the coroner’s office and SC Highway Patrol.
According to Master Trooper Gary Miller with the SC Highway Patrol, a 2009 Freightliner bucket truck, driven by a man from Swansea, SC, was traveling north on Highway 176 when his vehicle traveled left-of-center and struck Jennings’ 2014 Ford Expedition SUV head-on. Jennings was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the bucket truck was injured and transported to Union Medical Center. The incident remains under investigation by SC Highway Patrol.
Many took to Facebook to pay tribute to Jennings, who left behind a wife and two children. Sims Middle School stated, “It is with much sadness and heavy hearts the Sims Middle School family announces the transition of Mr. Stephen Jennings. Mr. Jennings, a beloved friend and co-worker, passed away this morning as a result of a car accident. Mr. Jennings was a member of our fine arts department who positively impacted the lives of all he encountered. Please remember his family, our work family, and our community as we go through this difficult time.