LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- A 39-year-old Lexington County man has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for striking and killing a transportation department worker on Interstate 20 last year.

Circuit Judge Robert Hood on Thursday sentenced Thomas Stafford after he pleaded guilty to felony driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident.

Twenty-one-year-old Nicholas Johnson was struck and killed in December.

Defense attorney Anna Good said Stafford had been taking two drugs because of pain from a back injury in 2011.

Johnson had been working to clear debris from the highway near the Richland-Lexington County line when he was hit.

Stafford apologized in court.

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