LEXINGTON, SC (WACH) --- A soul gone too soon, a bright smile that could light up any room. 19-year-old Austin Dugar left a big impression on everyone he met.
Austin was a talented soccer player at Dutch Fork High School and more recently a student at Midlands Tech. He was a big brother who enjoyed being outdoors and studying visuals arts. "He's my triple threat as I used to call him,” Michele Dugar said about her son. ”He was wicked smart, he had the academics, he's athletic, he's been the captain of his soccer team."
His father, Bill Dugar said around 6 o clock Wednesday morning he saw his son's car on Interstate 26. "I couldn’t see what kind of car it was but in my heart, I knew it was Austin's car," Bill said. "So I begin to call his phone and I began to call Madison's phone because he was supposed to be taking her to school." But those calls were never answered.
Right now, loved ones are waiting to learn more after the deadly crash. Early Wednesday morning, investigators said Austin was driving the wrong way on Interstate 26 near the Piney Grove exit. Authorities said a truck hit him as he tried to turn around. “Austin was extroverted and social,” his sister Madison Dugar said. “He loved hanging out with his friends like all the time."
Investigators have not figured out why Austin was driving in the wrong direction. Meantime, the family is hanging onto their memories. Troopers said they're waiting for the results of a toxicology test. The family thinks car trouble was part of the problem. "I can still kind of feel his presence, I can imagine him coming up the stairs, I can imagine him grabbing keys being on the go," Michele said. "I think he knows he's well loved and missed and that we will be okay."
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for funeral arrangements. You can click here to donate.
Loved ones and those who knew him best took to Twitter and Facebook sharing their memories of Austin: