Father, two daughters from Franklin County killed in South Carolina tractor-trailer crash

Family members say mother, son remain hospitalized

By Samantha Smith - Digital Content Producer, Taj Simmons - Reporter

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. - A Franklin County father and his two young daughters died in a tractor-trailer crash in South Carolina earlier this week. 

Thomas Rusgrove, 37, Esther Rusgrove, 14 and Jennie Rusgrove, 11, died in the crash, according to the Orangeburg County Coroner's Office. Family members say the other two people in the car are both still in the hospital -- mother Leslie Rusgrove, 37, is in critical condition and son Ethan Rusgrove, 16, is in stable condition. 

A family member told 10 News that the family of five was on its way back from a funeral in Florida when it was hit head-on by a tractor-trailer Monday on I-26 in Orangeburg, South Carolina. 

The truck driver reportedly crossed over the median and hit the family's van, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol. 

The coroner's office says the family is from western North Carolina, but family members say the Rusgroves are originally from the Rocky Mount and Callaway areas of Franklin County.

The Rusgroves will be buried in Franklin County. Conner-Bowman Funeral Home, which is handling funeral arrangements, says the family does not plan to arrange a funeral until Leslie Rusgrove and Ethan Rusgrove recover.

A GoFundMe campaign has been started for the family and has raised more than $20,000 as of Thursday morning. 

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