Monday, March 30, 2015

Rudy Branham, Jr. 10/27/1954 - 3/28/2015

Racing buddy, Michael Butler adds a memorial decal to his car.

John Rudy Branham, Jr.
10/27/1954 - 3/28/2015

Rudy Branham and his #28 McDonald's truck.

 Darlington McDonald's saying "We will miss you Rudy". McDonald's owner
Bob Kerzner was a  huge supporter of Rudy Branham and his racing. What
better way to give respect to Rudy  than to show support for a business that
helped him do what he loved.

John Rudy Branham, Jr., 60, of Darlington died on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at his home.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 3 PM in the Chapel of Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home. Burial will follow in Grove Hill Cemetery.

The family received friends from 5 until 7 PM on Monday, March 30, 2015 at the funeral home and other times at the home, 753 Branham's Airport Road.

Mr. Branham was born in Darlington County. He was the son of John Rudy Branham and the late Marian Sansbury "Belle" Branham.

Rudy spent his life in Darlington and was involved in many areas of the community. He was the owner of Branham's Garage, a business started by his father and was associated all his life with Branham's Airport.

Outside of his family, Rudy's favorite pastime was racing cars. He started racing in 1971 in the Hobby Class at Sumter Speedway. His first win was in 1973 at Conway Speedway. His career highlights include 1976 Rookie Class Champion at Myrtle Beach Speedway, 1979 Darlington Champion, 1982 and 1983 Track Champion at Carolina Speedway and Track Champion at Florence Motor Speedway for three consecutive years. The thrill of racing for Rudy was the competition. His most exciting racing moments in the infamous 28 car have been many, but none more than taking one final checkered flag at a local racetrack after he was diagnosed with cancer.

Rudy's illness brought his driving career to a halt, but it did not stop his involvement in the sport he loved. Rudy became the co-host of "That's Racing" on Monday nights on radio 92.9 and continued this for the remainder of his life. "Little Rudy" as he was affectionately known by his family and close friends, was a racer. Pure and simple. He was a fierce competitor in all he did. In life, as on the track, Rudy did everything possible to win.

Rudy fought cancer just like he fought to win the pole. In the end, he lost the battle. But he won the race. He finished the course and he kept the faith.

Surviving include father, John Rudy "Big Rudy" Branham, Sr.; daughter, Angel Branham (Kevin) Odom of Darlington; grandchildren, Corbin, Landon, and Branson all of Darlington; aunt, Wanda Thomas and husband, Tim of Darlington; uncles, James Branham and wife, Renee and Ray Branham all of Darlington; cousins, Russell Branham, Candi Elms and husband, Gary, Eddie McCoy, Jr. and wife, Dawn, Howard Cross and wife, Sherry, and Cathy Kirby and husband, C.C.; adoptive daughter, Jennifer Smith of Darlington; and many other close family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Branham; mother, Marian Sansbury "Belle" Branham, and grandparents, Willie D. and Minnie "MaMa" Branham.

Kistler-Hardee Funeral Home is honored to serve the Branham family. Sign the online guest book at

Rudy's passing brought the attention of the Nascar racing community as well as the local circle track folks.

Rudy Branham Sr.

Rudy did not have any insurance so all further donations will help the family with funeral expenses. Please continue to keep the Branham family and friends in your thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Florence County no longer offers Rabies Clinics to their citizens

April 28, 2015

Tractor Supply, 2590 S. Irby St. Florence, SC 29505 
Clinic times:
Sunday May 17, 2015 from 1:30PM until 3:00PM
Sunday June 14, 2015 from 1:30PM until 3:00PM
Sunday July 12, 2015 from 1:30PM until 3:00PM
Sunday August 09, 2015 from 1:30PM until 3:00PM

NOTICE: Florence County no longer offers Rabies Clinics to their citizens.

Tractor Supply company is meeting the need of the community by offering Rabies vaccination clinics!

Mark your calendars!  PETVET  Moblie Clinic will be back at:
Tractor Supply Company 
Sunday April 19, 2015 from 1:30PM until 3:00PM

Pet Vet Clinic have Vaccine Clinics Now at TSC
Our low-cost veterinarian clinics inside Tractor Supply Co. stores can save you as much as 70% off the cost of yearly vaccinations for your dog, cat, puppy or kitten.

State licensed veterinarians administer high-quality vaccines and microchips* with no appointment and no office visit fees. Simply show up during the clinic hours, it's that easy.

We offer heartworm tests with results in just 10 minutes! Buy heartworm prevention, such as Heartgard, Trifexis, Revolution for far less than the other online pharmacies. Cat and dog vaccinations can be purchased individually or choose one of our money-saving packages.

Do you have a new puppy or kitten? Click the link below to see our recommended dog, cat, kitten and puppy vaccination schedule to make sure your new family member is protected.

“Their car was pushed underneath the tractor-trailer," I-95 Crash - March 21, 2015

Barry Himes 2011/facebook
The two people from Pennsylvania that also died in the March 21st crash were 51-year-old Jacqueline McCann and Barry Himes, 52. The Johnstown couple was returning from a week’s vacation with family in Florida on Saturday evening when a violent crash claimed five lives.  Jacqueline and Barry who had been dating about three years traveled to the Orlando area to join her parents, Ray and Constance Huff, and her uncle, former Johnstown Mayor, Don Zucco, and his wife, Nancy, all of Johnstown for a weeks vacation.

“Jackie and her friend Barry came down for a week of vacation,” Don Zucco said Monday from Orlando. “They had enjoyed a grand week. We were together on Friday at lunch.” The couple left Florida on Saturday morning with plans to stop in Savannah, Georgia, to visit one of Barry's Army buddies, Zucco said.

Barry Himes/facebook
McCann, 51, was in management at DRS Laurel Technologies in Richland, and Himes, 52, owned Diamond Video Productions & MultiMedia LLC. Also killed in Saturday’s crash were 34-year-old Jeremiah Cross, 32-year-old Crystal Cross and 7-month-old Grayson Cross, all from Ontario.

Zucco said officials told the family that the Johnstown couple’s car had stopped behind a tractor-trailer when traffic backed up at a construction zone. The Cross vehicle stopped behind theirs, but another tractor-trailer driver failed to recognize the situation and plowed into the cars. “Their car was pushed underneath the tractor-trailer,” Zucco said.

McCann’s parents were returning to Johns-town on Monday, and the Zuccos were scheduled to fly back later. The accident happened on the northbound lanes of the heavily traveled I95 interstate in Florence County, SC. The accident, which is still under investigation, involved five vehicles including two tractor-trailers. Two cars caught fire, and traffic was blocked for about 12 hours.

Barry Himes and  Jacqueline McCann facebook Photo
Barry Himes’ brother, Eric Himes, of Carlisle, said the couple enjoyed an active lifestyle. The family says the couple had been inseparable since they met. so in love, doing everything together.  With heavy hearts, friends and family are remembering Barry Himes and Jacqueline McCann, of Cambria County.

Authorities said the crash happened on Interstate 95 in Florence County just after 7:30 p.m. Saturday and is still under investigation.. Funeral arrangements to be announced later.

Link to Himes business website:

Barry Himes @ Diamond Video

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fiery crash claims the lives of a young family, March 21, 2015

  Crystal Cross, Jeremiah Joseph Cross, and 7 month old Grayson Cross, months, of Ontario, Canada.

FLORENCE, S.C. – March 21, 2015
Five people lost their lives in a fiery multi-vehicle crash Saturday night on Interstate 95 in Florence County. The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of I-95 just before the 170 mile marker at the exit for S.C. 327, at around 7:30 p.m., according to Cpl. Sonny Collins with the SCHP.

Two tractor-trailer commercial vehicles were among the five involved. At least one car, mostly burned, was pinned beneath one of the tractor-trailers. Another car sat, fully burned, close by. A second tractor-trailer, slightly further up the highway, also sustained damage and possibly collided with a fourth consumer vehicle, a pickup truck.

Vahid Hamzehnava was in a vehicle not far behind where the accident happened. He said "I tried to slow down with the flow of traffic and all of a sudden it just happened, right before my eyes", he said "I saw the truck driver get out" he thought the truck was going to explode, so he ran down the highway. And then after a couple of seconds they said, ‘move the car, move the car.’ Everybody started backing up. And then the whole truck got on fire." He and another witness tried running toward the accident to assist trapped passengers. "We tried," he said. "There was nothing we could do."

Law enforcement and first responders began diverting all northbound traffic at mile marker 169 after the collision. The accident caused all northbound lanes of I-95 to be blocked off for nearly 12 hours. With normal traffic flow returning early Sunday morning, according to the SCDOT.

That total dead was confirmed Sunday morning to be five souls in a release issued by Florence County Coroner, Keith Von Lutcken. Autopsies will be conducted on all of the victims at MUSC. One of the fatalities was a baby, according to a witness on the scene.

Sunday, March 22, 2015, Coroner, Keith Von Lutcken identified the victims as Barry Himes, 52, and Jacqueline Ann McCann, 51, of Johnstown, PA. The coroner says they were in the 2011 Jeep Cherokee.

The victims in the 2008 Honda are identified as a young family. Jeremiah Joseph Cross, 34, Crystal Cross, 32, and Grayson Cross, 7 months, of Ontario, Canada.

The incident is under investigation by the S.C. Highway Patrol and the Florence County Coroner's Office. The South Carolina Highway Patrol has not released the details of the crash.

follow up article:

Canadian Soldier  Pte. Jeremiah Cross of Ontario

March 21, 2015 Accident- PHOTO CREDIT- WBTW

March 21, 2015 Accident- PHOTO CREDIT- WBTW-TV