Local News

S.C. Couple Drowned in Car After I-95 Wreck

Posted December 13, 2006 3:58 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2006 6:58 p.m. EST

— A South Carolina couple drowned after their car veered off Interstate 95 into a water-filled ditch last week, according to autopsy reports.

Wayne Anthony Guay, 57, and Dianne Guay, 55, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., were found Monday inside their white Mazda in a swampy area located 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 last Thursday.

Autopsies performed on the couple show that Wayne Guay died from drowning and blunt force trauma from the car crash and Dianne Guay drowned.

The couple's family visited the crash site for the first time Wednesday, laying several wreaths off the side of the interstate.

"It's been an unbelievable five days for us. Everyone is totally devastated -- just being here looking at this scene is killing all of us right now," said the Guays' son-in-law, Daniel Rodriguez.

The family criticized the state Highway Patrol and other authorities in both North and South Carolina, saying they should have searched harder for the missing retirees after a motorist reported seeing a car leave the highway and land in a ditch last Thursday morning.

"There was a 911 call made when it happened right then and there, and supposedly someone came out here to look. Where did they look? How far did they go? Did they walk over here? did they just drive by?" Rodriguez said. "I find it very hard to believe how they sent someone to search here, how they couldn't see these skid marks and couldn't see a car in the water."

The car was found four days later by a state Department of Transportation worker. Highway Patrol authorities said troopers followed the proper procedures in the case.

The man who called 911 didn't stop at the scene, but Rodriguez said the Guay family didn't fault him.

"In a perfect world, you'd say he could have stopped and maybe helped them. But at least he called. He didn't drive by and say, 'Forget about it.' And he was very specific, very specific (about the accident location)," he said.