Woman who hit tree died of medical event, says coroner

Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher has identified the motorist who died just after merging onto I-77 northbound from I-26 at approximately 11 a.m., Sunday.

According to Fisher, Mrs. Vernetta Tillman, 73, of Columbia was pronounced dead at the scene.  Mrs. Tillman, who was wearing a seat belt, left the roadway and collided with a tree.  An autopsy confirmed that Mrs. Tillman’s death was the result of a natural medical event.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol investigated the collision.