MAXTON, N.C. (WBTW) – Divers found three bodies inside a car in a pond in Robeson County on Tuesday, according to Sheriff Burnis Wilkins.
The North Carolina Department of Public Safety identified the three people as: Tiffany Danielle Goines, 26, of Pembroke, Anastacia Delane Locklear, 24, of Pembroke, and Danielle Nicole Locklear, 30, of Maxton.
Sgt. Cody Smith, with NCDPS, tells News13 one of the contributing factors was the roadway being washed out.
Crews were called to Maxton Pond at about 2 p.m. on Tuesday after someone reported seeing two lights and a tag submerged in the water, according to Robeson County Emergency Management officials. The Queheel Fire Department and Lumberton Rescue also were called out.
After divers entered the pond, they found the car and discovered three bodies inside.
“Evidence leads us to believe it was a traffic-related incident and the highway patrol which was already on scene took over,” said Wilkins on Tuesday. Officials are unsure how long the vehicle had been in the water.
Smith tells News13 Briana Fernandez this is not the first time this roadway has been washed out.
“When the storms came by there was some erosion and it washed away a lot of the pavement and the barricade that was there. When that happened, it should’ve been replaced immediately. It could’ve happened to any of us because there’s a lot of people that have been here that didn’t know it was in this bad shape,” said resident Molly Mcmillian.
“It’s really sad that this happened and I feel for the family. Somebody should be responsible for having a barricade down here for people from running in there,” said another resident, Margaret Oxedine.
On Wednesday evening around 6 p.m., Tommy Hunt, the owner of Dorsey Landscape and Irrigation, said he was contracted by the Lumbee Tribe to set four-inch metal posts and block the area. Hunt said his crew will be working all night and Thursday morning as well.
According to the North Carolina Highway Patrol, the state abandoned the road back in 2013 and came to some type of an agreement that had the Lumbee Tribe taking over Hayes road.
Even though troopers say the state does not maintain the road, officials tell us it’s not uncommon that troopers would be in charge of cases like these.
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