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Teen dies in crash on road named for father

Associated Press / April 9, 2011

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WELLFORD, S.C. — A South Carolina teenager was killed in a wreck on a stretch of highway named in memory of his father, a soldier slain in Afghanistan.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol said 18-year-old Aaron Shawn Hill was pronounced dead at Thursday morning’s wreck on Highway 129 in Wellford. Hill’s two passengers were hospitalized.

The Highway Patrol said the Honda that Hill was driving was hit head-on when a Chevrolet pickup driven by 27-year-old Michael Blake White crossed the center line.

“Aaron was a great kid. He always had a smile on his face,’’ Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said yesterday.

Wright said he got to know the family years ago when Hill and the sheriff’s son played little league baseball.

The sheriff was the one who identified the body. Wright then visited Hill’s family. He said Hill’s mother, Julie, was distraught, but trying to hold together a family that includes Hill’s two younger brothers.

The stretch of road where Hill died is named for his father, Army National Guard Sergeant Shawn Hill.

The 37-year-old soldier was killed in Afghanistan in 2008 when his vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

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