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Student hits and kills Clemson local, arrested for DUI

Clemson University Police Department // Provided

Michael Lee Lyon III, 21 and a senior construction science and management major, was charged with one count of driving under the influence, less than .10.

A Clemson student struck and killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence of marijuana Wednesday night, according to Clemson University Police. 
Michael Lee Lyon III, a 21-year-old senior construction science and management major, was charged with one count of driving under the influence, less than .10.

Police responded to reports of an accident near the intersection of Highway 93 and Perimeter Road Wednesday night. When they arrived, they found a pedestrian in critical condition.

The pedestrian was identified as Robert T. Barrett, 68, of Clemson, according to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office. Barrett died on the scene.

Witnesses told police that Barrett was crossing Highway 93 outside of the crosswalk. One witness said Barrett was in the median, hesitating to cross the street and then ran in front of the truck and got hit, according to the police report.

When speaking to Lyon, police said he appeared to be in shock, and his eyes were glossy and dilated. An officer stated that Lyon did not smell like alcohol but smelled marijuana coming from his person, according to the police report.

While standing next to the vehicle, the officer could smell “a very strong odor of burnt marijuana emitting from the vehicle,” she said in the report. 

Officers asked Lyon if he would participate in field sobriety tests, and he refused. Police then took Lyon into custody and asked him to perform a breathalyzer test, which he refused. Lyon was then brought to Oconee Memorial Hospital, where he refused to provide a urine sample, the report said.

Lyon was released from the Clemson City Jail on Thursday after posting a $992 personal recognizance bond, according to court records. A trial is set for April 5.

Barrett became a business professor at Clemson in 1984 and was later dean of the business school at Lander University until his retirement in 2017, according to his obituary. He was a Bible study leader and active member at Clemson United Methodist Church.

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