3 found dead in submerged vehicle

By: Staff report

MAXTON — The bodies of three females have been recovered from a vehicle that was submerged in a body of water near Maxton.

Robert Ivey, commander of Lumberton Rescue and EMS, said the vehicle had run off of Maxton Pond Road near N.C. 130 just southeast of the town, plunged 15 feet, struck what was left of a washed-out dam and sank about 25 feet into what he called a “swamp.” Ivey estimated the vehicle was about 12 to 15 feet from the bank.

Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said the accident happened overnight, either late Monday or early Tuesday.

The victims have been identified, and the Highway Patrol and Sheriff’s Office’s chaplain were in the process of contacting next of kin Tuesday night.

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office, state Highway Patrol were investigating the accident. Highway Patrol personnel were doing a reconstruction of the accident Tuesday afternoon.

Ivey said a fisherman apparently became aware of the vehicle and contacted authorities mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

Two divers with Lumberton Rescue and EMS recovered one of the bodies, and the other two were removed from the four-door passenger car after a tow truck was used to pull it out of the water, Ivey said.

According to Ivey, the road was washed out because of Hurricane Florence. The Robesonian has been told there was nothing remaining to warn a motorist of the danger ahead.

Other responding agencies were Queheel Fire Department, Robeson County EMS and Pembroke Rescue.

Staff report