CofC student dies in car crash, another faces possible charges

Last Friday afternoon, College of Charleston student Franklin “Barker” West died in a car accident while traveling to UVA for a college football game. At approximately 3:30 p.m., Barker, along with four of his friends, ran off the left side of I-95. His death was caused by blunt-force trauma and internal bleeding from injuries as a result of the crash.

Freshman Henry Farr was driving an SUV with four passengers northbound when he drove off the highway, hitting a tree and overturning the vehicle. West was the only one pronounced dead at the scene; however, one was transported to Clarendon Memorial Hospital and two others were airlifted to the intensive care unit at Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia. All three are still living.

Farr is being charged with felony driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance, according to information provided by S.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Billy Elder in The State. While no information has been made available yet on Farr’s blood-alcohol content or possible bond, he is currently being held at the Clarendon County Detention Center.

If Farr is convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a fine between $10,100 and $25,100. In addition, his driver’s licence would be suspended for three years after imprisonment.

West was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha. Fraternity President Matt McCarthy was unable to comment. However, Pi Kappa Alpha mourns the loss of West and has decorated the fraternity house on Wentworth Street with flowers.

On Sept. 10, Barker’s parents Frank West and Celeste West will receive friends of their son’s at J Henry Stuhr Funeral Home at 232 Calhoun Street from 5 to 7 p.m. The funeral service will take place at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Va. on Sept. 13.

According to Frank Budd, director of CASAS (Counseling and Substance Abuse Services), personnel in his department “are ready to see anyone who would like to talk to a counselor.” Budd has already received several e-mails from parents about services offered at the College and a few students have made appointments.

Budd noted that the College also offers peer counseling from 5 to 9 p.m Monday through Thursday with no appointment necessary. The office is located on the third floor of Robert Scott Small Building in room 319. Students may even chat with the peer counselors from their computer. If students prefer to seek counseling off campus, CASAS offers a referral list of local counselors who are within walking distance.

For students who do not want to receive counseling, but want to share memories of West and offer their condolences to his family, refer to his page on

Formal condolences may be sent to Barker’s family at the following addresses:
Celeste West – 3429 Diehl Court, Falls Church, VA 22041
Frank West – 7417 Rebecca Drive – Alexandria, VA 22307-1843

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Sarah Sheafer is the editor-in-chief of CisternYard News. She is a senior, double majoring in political science and international studies with a focus in the Middle East.

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