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      Investigators: Blossom Street crash may have been a deliberate act

      COLUMBIA (WACH) --Investigators with the Columbia Police Department say they are in the final stages of their investigation of the Blossom Street bridge accident.

      Columbia police say based on the results of the investigation, it is the opinion of traffic investigators that the incident may have been a deliberate act.

      Investigators are unable to clearly determine which occupant contributed to the tragic event.

      Wednesday Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says the driver of a car that drove off the Blossom Street Bridge was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana.

      According to toxicology reports, Denzel Whyatt Jr. had a blood alcohol level of .127 and evidence of marijuana in his system at the time of the crash.

      Whyatt and 40 year-old Shannon Mickens died in a January crash that sent their SUV off the Blossom Street Bridge.

      The vehicle was traveling West on Blossom Street when it swerved into the side of the bridge railing and plunged into the Congaree River.

      Mickens was pulled out of the water by rescuers and transported to Palmetto Health Richland Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

      Whyatt was recovered in the vehicle after it was removed from the river; and was pronounced dead at the scene.

      Autopsies conducted this morning on both victims show that they died from asphyxiation due to drowning.