KENANSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Troopers with the NC State Highway Patrol confirmed that four people died after a chase left the vehicle overturned in a pond on Monday night.
An investigation revealed that at approximately 10:13 pm, the State Highway Patrol attempted to stop a vehicle for excessive speed on NC Hwy. 24 in Duplin County. The driver of a Ford passenger vehicle failed to stop for blue lights and siren and began eluding authorities, officials said.
The pursuit traveled through Kenansville on NC Hwy. 24, eventually turning onto NC Hwy. 11 north. Upon reaching the intersection of NC Hwy. 11 and NC Hwy. 903, the Ford vehicle failed to stop at a stop sign and traveled across NC Hwy. 903.
Officials said the vehicle then traveled off the roadway and struck a fence before landing in a pond, where it quickly became submerged in approximately 15 feet of water. The involved trooper immediately deployed his issued rescue throw rope and was able to pull out a person who had exited the vehicle prior to it becoming submerged.
The person rescued was transported to Vidant Duplin ER in Kenansville with minor injuries and has since been released.
Tuesday evening, the N.C. State Highway Patrol released the names of the people involved, including the person who survived the crash:
- Darien Wellington Gayle, 20, Dunn (survived)
- Jordan Nicole Southers, 20, Angier
- Geavon Lamont Myles, 17, Magnolia
- Tavius Monta Carroll, 21, Dunn
- Amanda Serrano-Garcia, 19, Lillington
After a lengthy recovery mission by Duplin County Search & Rescue and a local tow company, the vehicle was pulled from the pond, which led to the discovery of the four people inside the passenger area of the vehicle who had died.
The North Carolina State Highway Patrol Collision Reconstruction Unit is handling the ongoing investigation. Troopers could not comment on the incident but James Ward, Basic Law Enforcement Training Director with Craven Community College, said what the Highway Patrol is doing what it typically does in these kinds of situations.
“It’s standard procedure they brought in a reconstruction team that will determine all the factors that were involved leading up to the incident, including both state statute and policy of the agency,” Ward said.