SCHP Report in Fatal DUI Case Still Missing After Months

In a fatal DUI incident that took place back in October 19, 2019, the South Carolina Highway Patrol has still not submitted a report, causing delays in the hearing on the case. The latest hearing for the case which was scheduled for Wednesday, March 11, had to be postponed due to the missing report.

The accident in question took place in Williamsburg County. It resulted in the death of Ashley Avant, 30, who was accompanied by her daughter at the time. Her 9-year-old daughter also sustained injuries in the crash. Avant was only a few feet from the driveway of her parents’ residence when she was hit by Benjamin Lockliear, the suspect in the crash.

Lockliear is accused of felony driving under the influence as well as leaving the scene of a fatal accident. He was due to appear at a court hearing on Wednesday when the hearing was postponed due to the missing report from SCHP. Despite several months having elapsed since the tragic incident, SCHP is yet to submit its report about it. This was naturally met by disappointment by the Avant family which wishes to see justice done in the case.

A civil lawsuit has also been filed against Lockliear by Avant’s husband in connection with the fatal DUI accident. Ashley Avant’s husband, Kenneth Avant, has brought the lawsuit for wrongful death and gross negligence. Avant is seeking $10 million in damages for these.

This is not the first time the suspect in the case, Lockliear, has been involved in drunk driving. According to court records, he was charged with driving with an open container in the vehicle in 2001, and again charged with the same in 2004. In 2013, he was charged with a second DUI offense. Given this history, it is likely that Lockliear may be sentenced to a prison sentence in a criminal case while also asked to pay compensation in the civil lawsuit.

Contact our DUI defense lawyers for help if you are facing DUI charges.


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