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Patrol: Procedures Followed in Fatal I-95 Wreck

Posted January 10, 2007

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— North Carolina Highway Patrol troopers followed department policies and procedures last month in responding to an accident on Interstate 95 that killed a South Carolina couple, the patrol said Wednesday.

The bodies of Wayne Anthony Guay, 57, and Dianne Guay, 55, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., were found Dec. 11 inside their white Mazda in a swampy area between I-95 mile markers 139 and 140 in Nash County.

The Guays, who were on their way to visit family members in Queens, N.Y., for an early holiday, had been reported missing on Dec. 7.

A passing motorist called Nash County 911 on Dec. 7  to report that a car had left the highway and had landed in a water-filled ditch. Troopers and other emergency personnel were dispatched to the area but couldn't find anything.

A state Department of Transportation worker later found the car.

Surviving members of the Guay family have said the outcome would have been different if authorities had searched longer. Col. Fletcher Clay, who heads the Highway Patrol, ordered an investigation into the response to the crash.

Lt. Everett Clendenin, of the state Highway Patrol, said officials looked at the information the trooper had and determined he did what any trooper would have done under the circumstances. The trooper even drove the four-mile route a second time, he said.

Clendenin also said there were no marks or debris indicating where the car left the road.

After reviewing troopers' actions and reports in the case, it was determined there were no violations of departmental policies and procedures, authorities said.

The Highway Patrol's accident reconstruction team continues to investigate the case.
22 Comments

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  • phillipstrucking Jan 11, 2007

    The only thing I fault the HP for is not following up with the man that reported the accident. The 911 operator had the phone number he called from. When HP didn't find the accident site they should have called the man and asked for more information. As I understand he was contacted days later when the car was found. It was too late then. Communication is the key to any situation. The chain of communication was broken and the HP had second hand information that was useless to them.

  • ktncnn Jan 11, 2007

    Well said intercepts2002 and bikenbarney. Isn't it amazing the number of people who think they know so much but know so little??

  • anonemoose Jan 11, 2007

    IBTC, do you have any idea how many Troopers there isn't in this state??
    Many Counties will only have one Trooper on duty at a given time, and many times, only the most populated counties will have a Trooper out after 2AM. Look at the total number of Troopers, then subtract those that work in administration, as instructors at the academy, do IT for the patrol, then subtract the Motor Carrier (truck police) officers that work the weigh stations, or do strictly scales. I very seriously doubt that Durham County Sheriff's Office works wrecks. I bet they show up and direct traffic, and help otherwise until the trooper gets there.

  • BLA BLA BLA Jan 10, 2007

    [Quote] exerpt from above story.

    Surviving members of the Guay family have said the outcome would have been different if authorities had searched longer. [/Quote]I dont think so, it said they died from drowning, that only takes a couple of minutes. Time from the 1st call in till units arrived, 10-15 minutes?, 1hr or more of searching, wouldnt have done any good. Assuming both of them were wearing seatbelts and had airbags, they shouldve been awake after the crash and got out. If the person who called it in had stayed and lended assistance, the outcome may have been different.

  • ktncnn Jan 10, 2007

    MORE KNOW IT ALLS.IBTC32A, DO YOU WORK FOR THE HP? IF NOT, SHUT UP BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO CLUE WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO EXPLAIN THE FUNCTION OF THE HP TO MORONS. IT HAS NOW BEEN PROVEN, STUPIDITY IS CATCHING!!!!!!!!!!

  • love32acupIBTC Jan 10, 2007

    It's VERY sad on HP's part. Now, you have the HP monitoring there own selfes. How many times has this EVER worked? You dont BUST your own- you ALWAYS back your people. HP doesn't want to get sued- they had to say this. And speaking of HP. Why are there HP's in Durham county on backroads? Aren't they called HIGHWAY patroll? Patroll the Highways ONLY. Durham Sherrifs, and city police answer 90% of ALL wrecks in Durham, and both groups have radar. Highway patroll needs to stay highways. I dont think people realize how LITTLE the HP has to do these days. Again-- did you know sheriff dupities and city police are dispatched to 100% of wrecks in Durham? HP gets involve only if a fatality- or extremly serious wreck needs investagationg. So again- WHAT is the HP's function 9at least in Durham)?

  • dcnktn Jan 10, 2007

    in a nice warm car, going to the donut shop? Give me a break. jdfrei, wavelength-65 and wood bull are all quick to judge but don't have a clue. Do you work for the HP or EMS? If not, shut up because you don't know what you are talking about. If stupidity is catching, I feel sorry for the world.

  • citizen Jan 10, 2007

    Similar case in the early 1990's when a young man, named Jeff Fisher, ran off I-40/I-85 in western Orange county one night - he and his wrecked car were not found until several months had passed. Sure looks like the HP has the right procedures in place, not.

  • lruiz49 Jan 10, 2007

    It is very sad to have this happen.
    However the HP, EMS units are very serious about their work.

    I travel that part of I-95 and it's like being on a race track in your own car. Folks are not very giving most of the time.

    What ever caused them to crash?? might never be known.
    God bless them and their family.

  • builder276 Jan 10, 2007

    Unfortuneatly, that area of I-95 is very rural, it is very hard to see things that are off the side of the road. It was raing very heavy that day, and it iss almost impossible to see skid marks on wet pavement. Yes, when it dries, you can see them again. The person that called it in probably thought that they were helping, and they ideed were. it would have been better if they had stayed, however I am not going to condemn them for that. they may not have realized that it would be difficult to see the car at a different time(15 minutes later). At least he did call it in. No, I do not feel that we should put up a guard rail there, unless Mr. Guay wants to pay for it. it was the drivers fault, not the states

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