Safety measures planned for private site where three were killed

By: Donnie Douglas - Editor

MAXTON — Steps are being taken to make safer a private road that was the site this week of an accident in which three Robeson County women died.

The property was turned over to the Lumber Tribe in 2013 and the tribe is responsible for its maintenance, said Andrew Barksdale, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation. The DOT does plan to put up some signage that will warn motorists of danger that is ahead, he said.

“It’s a real tragedy,” Barksdale said.

Harvey Godwin Jr., chairman of the Lumbee Tribe, said plans are to “secure the area.” He referred The Robesonian to Tribal Council Speaker Ricky Burnett for details, but Burnett could not be reached for comment.

“The Lumbee Tribe is deeply saddened by the community’s loss,” Godwin said. “Our prayers are with the families affected during this time and in the days to come.”

Killed in the accident were Tiffany Goines, 26, of Pembroke; Anastacia Locklear, 24, also of Pembroke; and Danielle Locklear, 30, of Maxton. They died when the Dodge Avenger they were in ran 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 a body of water that Robert Ivey, the commander of Lumberton Rescue and EMS, called a swamp. Ivey estimated the vehicle was about 12 to 15 feet from the bank.

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 vehicle after a tow truck was used to pull it out of the water, Ivey said.

The accident was investigated by Highway Patrol troopers Kyle Covington and Mike Chavis. On Tuesday, the patrol reconstructed the accident to better understand what happened. It remains unclear which one of the women was driving the vehicle.

One of the mysteries is when the accident happened, although Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said it happened either late Monday or early Tuesday.

Multiple people who were at the scene have told The Robesonian that the road was washed out because of Hurricane Florence, and 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.

Donnie Douglas