Charles Phillip Meador, 22 Renewed Effort "Charlie's Law"

Local man killed in head-on collision with detached trailer
Published Sunday, August 15, 2010 7:59 PM

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Georgetown Presbyterian Church.


GEORGETOWN, S.C. — A Georgetown man, the son of a Waccamaw Elementary School art teacher, died in a three-car crash on U.S. 521 outside Salters Friday evening.

Charles Phillip Meador, 22, was pronounced dead at the scene after his 1996 Toyota collided head-on with a trailer that had broken loose from the 1995 Toyota that had been towing it, Williamsburg County Deputy Coroner Vernal Fulton said.

The trailer, which was being towed by David Brown, 60, of Manning, crossed the center line at about 4:40 p.m., according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Sonny Collins.

A 2000 Ford Expedition driven by Kerry Singleton, 36, of Greeleyville ran into a ditch to avoid the initial collision, Collins said.

The Patrol’s Multi-disciplinary Accident Investigation Team is reconstructing the crash, Collins said.

Meanwhile, tributes to Meador and his family were posted online after the fatal crash.

Meador's mother, Leesa Meador, is the art teacher at Waccamaw Elementary School in Pawleys Island.

Friends and family said Charlie Meador will be missed. They had many memories of his childhood on the Waccamaw Neck.

Larry and Doris Cribb of Georgetown said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with you all during this time."

Others remembered "Charlie" as a talented young man who portrayed Jesus during vacation Bible school.

"Leesa, Phil, Sally and Eddie, our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your entire family on the loss of your dear son and brother Charlie," said another tribute. "He was an extremely talented young man, and it was an honor to have gotten to see some of those talents through the Last Supper performance and when he played Jesus for Vacation Bible School. Thank you for sharing your precious gift with us."

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service.

The family will receive friends at the Georgetown Chapel of Mayer Funeral Home Monday from 6 until 8 p.m.

Collins said any charges filed in connection with the crash would come after the conclusion of the investigation.

WBTW-TV contributed to this report

Funeral well attended for crash victim
Published Tuesday, August 17, 2010 10:19 PM
Friends and family of Charlie Meador carry his body to the hearse Tuesday after his funeral service in Georgetown. Meador was killed in a traffic accident in Salters Friday afternoon when his car was struck by a detached trailer.

GEORGETOWN, S.C. — A friendly, outgoing college student was remembered Tuesday as a unique individual who tried to make everyone smile.

The funeral service for Charlie Meador, 22, drew hundreds of people Tuesday to Georgetown Presbyterian Church.

An overflow crowd of mourners watched the services on a television screen put up in the church vestibule.

Meador, who attended the University of South Carolina, died Friday in a three-car crash on S.C. 521 near Salters.

His car was struck by a trailer that came unhitched from a passing car and died at the scene, according to the Williamsburg County Coroner.

Another car went into the ditch to avoid the collision.

Very talented person

During Tuesday’s service, Charlie’s childhood friends remembered how he liked ranch dressing on most every food and appreciated the little things in life.

Ian Dillinger, Charlie’s long-time friend, said the two “mapped out the future” together and went fishing when they were children.

Ian said he saw a squirrel eating a mushroom and a chicken and a rooster Tuesday morning. Both reminded him of Charlie, he said.

“He was all about the little things in life,’’ Ian said.

Another friend said she met Charlie when they were in the sixth grade and she began attending church at  Georgetown Presbyterian.

“He loved to hardcore dance,’’ she said, relating that he would dance in most any location.

She also related that Charlie “loved to argue,” and one of his last arguments concerned the exact words to the song, “Circle of Life.”

“He was talented and funny and he would do anything to make a friend smile,’’ she said.

Charlie’s sister, Sally, said she remembered his “scruffy beard,’’ and how she used to show him off to her friends in elementary school.

“He was the coolest thing, ever,’’ she said.

“He was so protective,’’ said his brother, Eddie. “He always said he would protect me, and he still is.”

Both his mother and father, Leesa and Phillip Meador, cried when they said their son was unique and marched to his own beat.

“He was the most wonderful kid, ever,’’ his mother said. “A large part of his life, he felt like an outcast. But he went out of his way to make sure no one else did. Please don’t ever forget him.”

“He was so talented at so many things,’’ Phillip Meador said. “I was so proud that he went out of his way to march to a different beat.”

Crash investigated

Meador was killed after his 1996 Toyota collided head-on with a trailer that had broken loose from a 1995 Toyota that had been towing it, Williamsburg County Deputy Coroner Vernal Fulton said.

The trailer, which was being towed by David Brown, 60, of Manning, crossed the center line at about 4:40 p.m., according to state troopers. Another vehicle, driven by Kerry Singleton, 36, ran into a ditch.

No charges have been filed in connection with the crash.

The MAIT team from the S.C. Highway Patrol is investigating the fatal crash. No charges will be filed until the investigation is over, according to state troopers.

By Kelly Marshall Fuller

    The Contact We HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR!!! Understand we never contact the Family Or Friends.  We wait until they simply research and find out that Over 17,000 lives have been lost the same way since 1975.  When they are ready to get involved and help we assist.

    My daughter's best friend and first love Charlie Meador was killed on Friday August 13, 2010. I noticed you have his newspaper article on your website. I cannot begin to tell you how much I have grieved over Charlie. His death has been too much for me to bear. I still think of Charlie every single day. I still cry so much over him. I guess it's because of the way he died and because he was such a kind hearted person. He did not deserve that kind of death. When Charlie died I was living in Myrtle Beach. I posted his obituary and your website on a bulletin board at the condominium complex that I was living at. I am contacting you now because I would like to donate some of my time to try to help. I am a student age 49 and I don't have any money, but many of Charlie's friends live here in Columbia. They all met in Myrtle Beach through my daughter Olivia. They all went to the University of South Carolina together and all of us will donate time and what little resources we have to try to help. The State Capitol building would be a great place for all of us here to have signs and get information out to the public. I might be able to get the school to donate flyers. Just tell us what to do here in Columbia. Tell us how we can help. I'm tired of grieving and crying all the time. It's time to start doing something about this. Sincerely, Carol Please Call me A.S.A.P


    Who Was Charlie Meador?
    Why does these accidents continue to happen?
    Why does our Government in South Carolina Not Work With Us To Find Solutions?
    We are going to present "Charlie's Law" and our hope is some lawmaker will sponcer it!


    Editorial | Could the time be right for a trailer tax?

    Published: May 30, 2013 

    State law exempts privately owned trailers weighing under 2,500 pounds from registration unless they are being rented. That means trailers such as U-Hauls must be licensed even if they weigh under 2,500 pounds.

    Attempts to change the law have failed repeatedly, and not since 2006 has it been tried again.

    Opposition comes from several fronts, according to legislators who have tried to change the law. First are those who insist that farm trailers should not be registered or taxed. Some bills specifically exempted farm trailers but they still failed.

    The most prevalent objection is from those who have pledged never to raise taxes or impose new ones. Many who have taken that pledge are suspicious of government and don't want any new rules.

    Another objection is that registering trailers would raise so little money it is not worth the bother. Of course, no one knows for sure how many are in use because they are not registered. The one estimate we have to go on is from a legislative study in 2005 that projected income of $4 million from trailers, compared with $594.3 million collected from all vehicle fees.

    Currently, trailers under 2,500 pounds that must be registered pay $10. Those over 2,500 pounds pay $20, so there isn't a lot of money involved.

    Aside from the revenue-to-effort ratio, some state officials said there is no uniform way to tax or register the trailers because there are so many types and sizes.

    Even so, that year, state Sen. Luke Rankin, R-Myrtle Beach, filed a bill calling for the registration of utility trailers. It died in committee. In 2006, former Rep. Vida Miller, D-Pawleys Island, and Rep. Nelson Hardwick, R-Surfside Beach, co-sponsored a trailer registration bill. It died in committee. Three other House members filed a similar bill, which also died in committee.

    Most other states have resolved these difficulties and found a way to register, if not tax, utility trailers. Missouri, for example, requires titles, registration and taxes of the trailers, and it exempts “cotton and hay trailers.'' Registration is $7.50 for one year. Not much money involved here, either: The state collected $356,596 in trailer registration fees last year.

    According to the website, South Carolina is one of 11 states that does not require registration of utility trailers. The website, run by Virginia resident Ron Melancon, advocates for trailer safety.

    Melancon points out that unregistered trailers have caused traffic accidents leading to deaths, and that they should be required to have lights, brake lights and turn signals. South Carolina requires only that such trailers have two reflectors in the rear.

    The Anderson (S.C.) Independent reported that in 2010, a couple was killed when a detached utility trailer rolled into their car on Interstate 85. The reponsible party was never found.

    Add to safety issues the problem of theft of trailers with motorcycles on them, and it is enough to make Hardwick vow to file a trailer bill again.

    He told The Sun News this week that there are varied benefits to requiring trailer registration and he intends to work on a new bill over the summer and file it for consideration next year.

    Readers who care about this issue can do their part by expressing support for Hardwick's effort, urging their House and Senate members to support the bill, and sharing their opinion with other legislators when the measure comes up for votes.

    The revenue may be a tiny piece of the state budget, but the principle and the safety issues are compelling reasons to put this back in play.

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