Ethan Pringle, who was set to graduate Armstrong State University in December and aspired to attend law school at the University of Georgia, will be laid to rest this weekend.
The 26-year-old Midway resident was killed in a hit-and-run accident Saturday morning in South Carolina. The man allegedly responsible for his death, was arrested Monday, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Matt Southern.
According to a release from Southern’s Troop Six Patrol Office, Robert G. Collum III of Rincon has been charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death.
Around 5:20 a.m. Saturday, Pringle was walking southbound along Highway 17 near the South Carolina/Georgia state line when he was struck by a vehicle, also heading south.
The driver fled the scene.
Pringle was taken to Memorial Health Hospital in Savannah. According to Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls III, Pringle had sustained severe injuries and had undergone surgery but eventually died from severe blunt force trauma roughly five hours after the accident.
South Carolina Highway Patrol had issued an alert for the suspected vehicle, a dark 2014-2016 Chevrolet Impala with damage to the front, windshield and driver’s side mirror.
According to the release, a resident contacted the highway patrol after seeing a vehicle like the one described. The 2015 Chevy Impala that Collum was allegedly driving was recovered and Collum arrested.
He was taken to the Jasper County Detention Center and was set to appear in court Tuesday for a bond hearing.
Pringle was a graduate of Liberty County High School where he played on the baseball team. He was in his senior year at Armstrong, majoring in English.
His parents are Bob Pringle of Sunbury and the late Mary J. Pringle. He had three brothers.
Several members of Armstrong’s faculty took to the Armstrong Languages, Literature and Philosophy Facebook page to post thoughts on the loss.
They wrote that Pringle was a dedicated student, a regular contributor to the school’s Inkwell newspaper, and had just been appointed to the LLP Student Advisory Board.
"I always looked forward to talking with him," Pringle’s academic advisor, Dr. Carol Andrews, was quoted. "Last summer, he traveled to Israel with a group of political science majors, and I will always remember his showing me all of the photos. He enjoyed everything about the country and told me he wanted to return. He even managed to infiltrate a mosque with some Muslim friends and ask questions of the religious leaders. Along with many others, I will miss him terribly."
Another post, by Dr. William Belford who taught Pringle in 2014, said, "This news comes hard. Ethan took my Introduction to Creative Writing class, a special class that I remember for its congeniality and professionalism. Among this group Ethan distinguished himself as a devoted, thoughtful and giving reader of his classmates’ work, as well as a writer dedicated to honing his craft. A kind and gentle soul, I will think of Ethan fondly."
According to the posts, Pringle wrote sports articles for the Inkwell. His editor, Caleb Bailey said, "Could not have asked for a better colleague. He was the most professional person you could ever meet. However, he was more than just a hard worker. He was a great person and an even better friend. He was never without a smile and could talk with anyone he met."
His recent professor, Dr. Regina Bradley, shared that "Pringle was a generous thinker, slow to comment but quick to listen. His questions were well thought out and, although firm in his beliefs, Ethan was careful not to push his feelings and opinions on his classmates. He was such a joy to teach. His shy smile and easy laugh helped make our classroom a safe space and his good energy will be sorely missed by me and his classmates."
Collum was a former star wrestler at South Effingham High School.
After high school, he became an amateur mixed martial arts fighter known competitively as the Shamrock Kid. Collum was featured in the summer 2016 edition of the Effingham Sports Digest. He hopes to turn pro in the sport within two years.
According to Southern, the investigation into the collision is ongoing. Anyone with information, or who may have witnessed the collision, is asked to call the SC Highway Patrol at 843-953-6010 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
The SCHP release noted that the vehicle was located with help from the Georgia State Patrol.