Sumter man dies in Boulevard Road wreck
By JOE PERRY
Item Staff Writer
A 52-year-old Sumter man was killed Tuesday morning in a two-vehicle wreck on Boulevard Road, according to authorities.
James "Frankie" Compton Jr. of 1545 Britton Road, was pronounced dead from internal injuries at 11:24 a.m. at Tuomey Regional Medical Center, said Sumter County Deputy Coroner Demma Truell.
Sumter Police Department Sgt. Donald Rach said Compton was driving a 1996 Ford Ranger pickup truck northbound on Boulevard Road just north of East Red Bay Road when he collided with the rear end of a cargo-laden 1996 Peterbilt tractor-trailer truck.
"He was hauling steel I-beams and there was no braking (from Compton) applied," Rach said.
The tractor-trailer was driven by Jermaine Goodley, 33, of 3095 Britton Brogdon Road, and owned by Ernest Pearson Trucking Co. in Manning.
Compton had no seatbelt on, Rach said, but air bags deployed. Goodley had a seatbelt on and was uninjured.
"He (Compton) was breathing shallowly when we got on scene," Rach said, and emergency medical services technicians immediately began working to revive him.
Compton grew up in Sumter County, said his sister, Dawn Hauser, and was on disability, having suffered from a stroke about eight or nine years ago. Prior to his stroke, he managed motels in the Myrtle Beach area, she said, and was well-known locally for cutting people's lawns.
Compton graduated from Salem Academy in 1975, and was the divorced father of three sons — Jamie Compton, 33, Eddie Farmer, 31, and Kevin Farmer, 27. He used to love playing baseball, Hauser said, and riding Harley Davidson motorcycles. He was also a big Clemson University fan, and used to love watching Dale Earnhardt Sr. during NASCAR season.
He had eight grandchildren and one on the way, his sister said.
"He was very fun to be around. If you ever met him, he wanted to be your friend," she said. "He was a very friendly person — everybody loved Frankie."
Contact Staff Writer Joe Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 774-1272.
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