At approximately 8:05 AM, Friday, March 12, 2004, the Sheldon Fire District was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident with injuries and entrapment on SC Hwy 17.
First arriving fire department units found a 4-vehicle accident involving (2) US Navy buses, (1) Semi-truck, and (1) passenger vehicle. There were approximately 100 people occupying the two buses, with (3) fatalities on scene and several walking wounded.
The driver of the semi-truck had to be extricated by fire crews. The Burton Fire District (E822, E825) set up a landing zone for (5) inbound Medical Air Ambulances. Medu-Care out of Charleston, SC; Lifestar out of Savannah, GA; Angel 1 and Angel 2 from the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort and Life Force out of Columbia, SC (cancelled enroute) in a field near the crash scene.