Byline: Renee Sexton
A North Carolina woman who lost both her legs in a motorcycle crash after she hit a curb while on vacation in Myrtle Beach has reached a $300,000 settlement with the South Carolina Department of Transportation, the maximum amount allowed under the state's Tort Claims Act, her attorneys report.
Ryan Oxendine of Oxendine Barnes & Associates in Raleigh and Bill Hopkins Jr. of Hopkins Law Firm in Pawley's Island, South Carolina represented the plaintiffs, Dale and Terry Locklear, in their negligence suit against the SCDOT.
Oxendine said Dale Locklear was driving her motorcycle with a group of bikers in Myrtle Beach in May 2017 and wasn't warned the right lane she was driving in was a right-turn-only lane that came to an abrupt end with a raised curb. Locklear hit the curb and she flew over the handlebars of her motorcycle.
The Locklears claimed there was poor or no signage or paint markings in the area warning drivers that the lane was a turn-only lane.
"She said there were no markings anywhere. She just came upon it suddenly," Oxendine said. "She was totally shocked. There was nothing showing her to get over."
Locklear ended up losing both her legs as a result of the crash. While she was in a Myrtle Beach hospital, a nurse told her that the area where the crash occurred had been the site of numerous crashes.
Oxendine said the SCDOT was responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, signage, marking and construction related to that portion of Highway 17. The lawsuit prompted the SCDOT to make changes to the lane where the crash occurred so that drivers would be forewarned of the lane ending.
The settlement was agreed to in Horry County Circuit Court on Dec. 17.
Before the crash, Locklear was a school teacher and she is no longer able to work.