Local News

Troopers: Car Carrying S.C. Couple Sank Quickly

Posted January 31, 2007 9:11 a.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2007 2:29 p.m. EST

— The state Highway Patrol released new information Wednesday into the drowning death of a South Carolina couple traveling through Nash County.

Wayne Anthony Guay, 57, and his wife, Dianne Guay, 55, died on Dec. 7 when their vehicle ran off northbound Interstate 95 into a swamp. According to the findings of the Highway Patrol's crash reconstruction team, the Guays' vehicle traveled down a 10-foot embankment and entered the water, hitting a tree on the driver-side door.

Investigators said the collision shattered the driver-side window and created a hole in the car door, causing water to enter the vehicle quickly. Troopers estimated the vehicle was completely submerged within 90 seconds.

The vehicle was not noticed until Dec. 11, when a state Department of Transportation worker saw a piece of luggage floating in the water.

The Guay family has criticized authorities for not searching more thoroughly for the car after a passing motorist reported seeing a vehicle run off of I-95 into some nearby water. The Highway Patrol has said troopers followed the proper procedures in searching for the vehicle.

The vehicle was submerged in 12 feet of water and was surrounded by natural barriers that prevented either door from opening properly, authorities said.

The Highway Patrol also found that the accident was not related to any vehicle defects or collision with another vehicle. Troopers said they don't believe the accident was caused by Wayne Guay, who was driving the car, having a medical emergency.

Because the area where the crash occurred is known for frequent deer sightings, troopers said the accident might have occurred as Wayne Guay tried to avoid hitting a deer on the highway.