Search for Missing South Carolina Couple has tragic ending
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — Authorities have recovered the bodies of a missing South Carolina couple from inside a vehicle submerged in water along Interstate 95 in Rocky Mount, the North Carolina Highway Patrol said Monday evening.
Wayne Anthony Guay, 57, and Dianne Guay, 55, of Myrtle Beach, S.C., were positively identified as the occupants inside the white Mazda with South Carolina registration, the Highway Patrol said. Troopers were notified at about 3:30 p.m. about the vehicle, which was found in a swampy area located between mile markers 139 and 140. Sgt. Keith Stone, with the Highway Patrol, said the vehicle apparently ran off the road, hit a tree and landed in a creek. Authorities did not know how the couple died. The cause of wreck is under investigation. The Guays were on their way to visit family members in Queens, N.Y. for an early holiday. Christmas gifts were still in the back seat of their four-door sedan when crews pulled it from the creek. Last week, Nash County 911 Communications had notified the Highway Patrol of a traffic collision near the location where the vehicle was recovered, but emergency personnel were never able to locate a collision at the location or see any debris, the Highway Patrol said. “A lot of times, these accidents are given out on I-95 in the northbound lane, and it could be a three- or four-mile stretch,” Stone said. A state employee doing work along the highway Monday spotted some luggage floating in the creek. When he went for a closer look, he found the car submerged, authorities said.
Well now we know that someone saw the couple veer off I-95 and that he even called 911. But after a cursory look that night, police gave up and didn’t resume the search until family members complained days later.
Caller: “There’s a car on the right side going northbound. There’s a car in the swamp area.”
Caller: “They haven’t reached it because the lights are still on and everything.”
And police responded but the directions given by the caller are so vague and confusing, and the dispatcher never asked for sufficient clarification, so police didn’t find the car that night.
“They emerge on I-95 where that exit is,” the caller said.
The couple left Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on Thursday morning and headed to Ridgewood, Queens. But when they did not call relatives and didn’t respond to phone calls, the family started to search. Yesterday, tire tracks leaving I-95 were spotted by one searcher and the car was found, the couple inside.
Authorities don’t yet know what caused the crash, but say the couple hit a guard rail first, then careened off the side of the road. It is not clear if they were killed instantly.