CHESTER, S.C. -- Three friends were killed less than a mile from reaching their destination.
Emergency crews answered the call at Old Richburg Road near Lizzie Melton Road just before noon Monday.
A Volkswagen sedan had veered off the road into the trees. Crash scene investigators marked in orange spray-paint the area of impact, and where three men were killed.
It happened down the road from the house belonging to the driver's mother.
His family identified the driver as 43-year-old Gregory McCrorey. He was coming back from Richburg, having picked up a wrench he needed to fix his mother's car. He was killed on his way to his mother's house.
"His mom just buried her baby boy less than six months ago, and this is another tragedy.
It's going to be hard for everybody," said Tonya Crickett, the driver's step-sister.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash. It is unclear why McCrorey lost control of his vehicle, but officials say speed may have been a factor.
"He was so close to here; why was he driving that fast? We are just asking why," said Crickett.
The impact from the crash also caused debris and car parts to strike a passing school bus.
According to troopers, two students were on board, but no one was hurt, and there was some exterior damage to the bus.
Crickett is thankful nobody on the school bus got hurt, and says the situation could have been worse.
Family and friends say the men are in their 40s to 50s, and were life-long friends.
Many gathered at the house belonging to McCrorey's mother. They say the men will be remembered for their kindness and generous spirit.
"I loved them," says John Robinson.
He says he grew up with the men and respected them.
"They were good people."
The State's Coroner's office will release the names of the remaining passengers when the next of kind are notified.