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Worker helping clear debris in I-26 median struck, killed by SUV while avoiding falling tree

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RIDGEVILLE, South Carolina — Authorities say a worker helping to clear trees and other winter storm debris along Interstate 26 has been struck and killed by an SUV.

Troopers said the man was in the median around 11:45 a.m. Sunday when a co-worker cut down a tree and it appeared to be falling toward him.

The coroner's office says 34-year-old Heath Sutherland ran into the eastbound lanes of I-26 at mile marker 187 near the Ridgeville exit to avoid the tree and was hit by a vehicle.

The driver and a passenger in the SUV were not hurt.

Authorities say Sutherland worked for a company hired by South Carolina to remove trees and other debris left from February's winter storm.

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