By Stan Welch – An Abbeville County deputy was badly injured near the Anderson/Abbeville county line Tuesday evening. Deputy Jeff Abercrombie was at the scene of a hit and run accident which involved the “Miss Annie Lee”, the historic cannon which was being transported by Allen Ashley, of the SCV when a truck sideswiped him and continued south on Highway 20.
Ashley said he and Abercrombie were standing at the scene when a woman almost struck them as she passed. According to Ashley, Abercrombie jumped in his car and pursued the woman. Approximately 300 yards away, Abercrombie lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the woods, demolishing the cruiser and suffering serious injuries.
The original accident happened about five p.m. when a flatbed truck drifted over the center line and tore the mirror from Ashley’s truck, then struck the corner of the trailer that the cannon travels in. Ashley said an inspection Wednesday indicates that the gun and carriage hadn’t even moved.
“The cannon is fine” said Ashley. “Luckily neither I nor my passengers were injured. I hope the deputy will be alright, but I was told he had broken an arm and a leg as well as three vertebrae in his neck.”
A spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office could not confirm those injuries beyond the broken arm, but did report that Deputy Abercrombie was still hospitalized and was expected to remain there for at least two more days.