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Major accident on I-26 kills two motorcyclists in Newberry County

The accident shut down I-26 eastbound for hours.

NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. — Two motorcyclists have died after a crash on I-26 that also shut down eastbound traffic for hours.

According to South Carolina Highway Patrol Corporal Joel Hovis, a 2013 Harley Davidson with two riders changed lanes to avoid slower traffic, hitting an SUV in the passenger said. The motorcycle then spilled back into its original lane and was struck by a minivan, ejecting both riders.

Neither rider was wearing a helmet at the time. The person in control of the bike died at the scene and a passenger, who was airlifted from the scene by helicopter, died later as well.

The drivers of the SUV and minivan were wearing seatbelts and weren't injured. The crash response and investigation that followed shut down all eastbound lanes of I-26 in Newberry County for hours, with traffic not officially cleared until after 2 p.m.

The Newberry County Coroner's Office hasn't yet released the names of the victims.