WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The Wilmington Police Department is expected to release more details about its investigation into the deaths of two men after the car they were in plunged into the Cape Fear River last week.
A spokeswoman for the police department said the WPD’s Traffic Unit will present its findings to police leadership and the victims’ families on Tuesday. A public release of that information should occur that afternoon or the next day.
Wilmington police say just after midnight on Friday, Aug. 28 they received a report of a red car driving off a pier along the Riverwalk in downtown, plunging into the Cape Fear River and sinking. Dive teams searched the water later that morning and eventually located the car at the bottom of the river.
Crews brought in a floating crane to lift the red Dodge Challenger from the water. After the car was retrieved, investigators discovered the bodies of Je’Mel Sneed, 31, and Frederick Brock, 40, both of Wilmington, inside the vehicle.
Two calls were made to 911 to report the incident, both callers had similar stories about a car crashing off the pier and landing in the Cape Fear River.
“He is in the river, the whole car is in the river … and I mean, he’s going down fast,” one caller said.
The car apparently floated for several minutes until it finally sank as one caller followed the car down the Riverwalk while talking to dispatchers.
“I am going down the waterfront but eventually I am not going to be able to walk,” the caller said.
The caller expressed the seriousness of the situation saying, “You need to get a helicopter out here, this guy is going to die.”
The entire call lasts around six minutes and it appears that police responded in less than five minutes.
“Redacted stated a red in color vehicle possibly a Firebird entered the Cape Fear River. Redacted stated the vehicle’s doors were submerged up to the windows. The dome light in the vehicle was on and he could see what appeared to be a white male hitting the windows trying to escape. The vehicle floated South of the Henrietta. As it pasted the boat it submerged completely. Redacted stated about the middle of the river and it went down approximately 3 minutes before he saw the first officer, a sheriff’s deputy on scene,” according to 911 call logs.
The incident report also reveals that eyewitnesses say they saw someone banging on the window and another report claims someone was trying to ‘kick out the window.’
Brock worked at The George restaurant, near the crash scene, for about a year as a cook.
Sneed leaves behind a daughter, according to his obituary. A viewing will be held Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Davis Funeral Home in Wilmington. A graveside sevice is planned for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Sneed Family Cemetery in Leland.
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