A July 4th outing turned tragic when a small boat collided with a piling on the Edisto River south of the ACE Basin Parkway Bridge (U.S. Highway 17) at Jacksonboro Saturday morning.

The boat was traveling in the dark river shortly after midnight when it struck a wooden piling, ejecting a man into the water and critically injuring an adult female. The female was unconscious following the impact.

The other two adults unsuccessfully searched the area for the missing man, who was not wearing a life jacket, and notified Colleton 9-1-1. Firefighter-paramedics from Station #2 in Jacksonboro arrived minutes after the dispatch and used a private boat to make contact with the boaters. They were directed to a private boat landing off Perkins Path to meet with the ambulance.

The woman, who remained unconscious, was quickly treated at the scene then transported to the Trauma Center at MUSC by ambulance with additional personnel assisting with her breathing. She was in critical condition upon arrival at MUSC.

The other two adult occupants received minor injuries and refused ambulance transportation to the hospital.

Fire-Rescue personnel in its rescue boat, a private boat and several DNR officers searched the river for the missing driver.

Fire-Rescue divers also searched the area for an hour but visibility was poor in the darkness. The search was suspended about 3 a.m. until daylight.

Crews began searching again shortly after sunrise. Using side-scanning sonar, they located the victim near the collision site under about six feet of water. Fire-Rescue divers recovered the man and turned him over to the coroner?s office. Coroner Richard Harvey responded to the scene.

Both victims ? Adam Dziki, 37, and Jennifer Hicks, 30, both of Summerville ? died of multiple trauma, Harvey said.

SCDNR is investigating the accident.