MBPD: Woman charged for DUI after crashing into backgate pole

Joyce Swabon, Source: Myrtle Beach Police Department
Joyce Swabon, Source: Myrtle Beach Police Department

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) –  Traffic lights at the backgate at Highway 17 and 707 are operational again after crews worked to restore power all day.

Myrtle Beach Police official David Knipes said they are hoping to get traffic back to near-normal conditions by about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

Joyce Swabon, 55, was arrested for DUI after allegedly driving a red Cadillac south and striking a light pole and electrical equipment at the Highway 17 backgate bypass, according to Knipes. This caused all the traffic signals at this intersection to go out.

The backup at the backgate didn't just cause delays for drivers, it hit local businesses hard.

"It's causing a lot of chaos for us today," said Lisa Yazici, officer manager at Implant & General Dentistry at the Market Common District. "We have patients schedules for surgery that are now running 15 to 20 minutes late. That in turn makes all patients' appointments late."

The local SCDOT Office described the issue with the lights as a  tangled-up problem.

A traffic officer at the scene advised drivers to just avoid the intersection altogether.

According to the SCDOT office, a subcontractor is responsible for the signal lights at the backgate intersection, since it is currently under construction.  That subcontractor is based out of North Carolina. The contractor in charge of construction at the backgate said that group was the go-to company for all backgate work, and had been for the past two years.

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