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Photo courtesy of Metro Creative Graphics

An Horry County teacher is in custody and charged with felony DUI resulting in death after he drove his 2017 Jeep Wrangler into a 2012 Honda Civic that was stopped at a light on Carolina Forest Boulevard, killing the Civic’s rear passenger, according to the South Carolina Highway Patrol. 

Leza Watts, 27, of Carolina Forest, died in the crash, said Horry County Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard.

The accident happened around 9:20 p.m. Oct. 25 at the intersection of Carolina Forest Boulevard and Stafford Drive, said highway patrol Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell. 

Tidwell identified Michael Oerther, 52, of Myrtle Beach, as the driver of the Jeep Wrangler and said had been charged in connection to the incident. was the Jeep’s only occupant. 

Oerther was taken to Grand Strand Medical for his injuries and was charged after was released, Tidwell said.

Michael Oerther

Michael Oerther, 52, is charged with felony DUI resulting in death. He was still incarcerated as of Wednesday morning. Courtesy, J. Reuben Long Detention Center 

Oerther was booked into the J. Reuben Long Detention Center Tuesday at 2 a.m., jail records show. He was given a bond of $40,000 and was released to home detention on Wednesday. 

Horry County Schools spokeswoman Lisa Bourcier said in an email that Oerther is a math teacher at Ocean Bay Middle School and was placed on administrative leave Tuesday.

The highway patrol said the driver and front seat passenger of the civic were taken to the hospital for treatment for their injuries and that everyone involved in the accident was wearing a seatbelt.

Reach Christian by email or through Twitter and Facebook with the handle @ChrisHBoschult. 



Christian is Texas native who welcomes any chance to do a story in the marsh or on the beach. He's a dog park regular and enjoys spending time in the kitchen. He says his margarita recipes are better than anything you'll find in a restaurant.

(1) comment


There was a newspaper article yesterday that said this was his 4th DUI charge and he had been convicted twice maybe they should also investigate which bar he had been to and if the bar over served him

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