CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. — Officials in Craven County have determined that a Kinston woman and her granddaughter died in a car accident that likely happened because of foggy weather and a missed detour sign.
Craven County District Attorney David McFadyen announced Thursday morning that both Gail Haddock-Dail and her granddaughter Heather Roberts died from asphyxiation due to drowning during a car accident in the Neuse River last year.
Their minivan was recovered by authorities earlier this week -- nearly 11 months after the two went missing.
McFadyen said that the autopsy determined both were alive when the car hit the water and that all other evidence in the car points to an accident. He said that a cell phone was in the car, the car was still in drive, the lights were on and the keys were in the ignition.
McFadyen theorized that the two were on a detour and ended up making a wrong turn in fog.
During the time of the pair's disappearance, a detour on N.C. Highway 55 in Craven County forced drivers to turn onto Turkey Creek Road, then on Whetherington Farm Road to get back to Highway 55.
McFadyen said that if a critical turn was missed, a motorist would have gone down a dirt road and into the water.
"There's no lighting, artificial lighting, there at all. It turns from a paved road to a rock road to a dirt road into the creek," McFadyen said.
The two were enroute of Roanoke, Va., on Dec. 6, 2004, to see family. Authorities said that in the early-morning hours of Dec. 7, Haddock-Dail's estranged husband, Glenn Dail, received a frantic phone call from his wife, who told him they were in water and needed help.
McFadyen said no charges would be filed in the accident.