ROBESON COUNTY, N.C. (WMBF) – Authorities have identified three women who were found dead inside a submerged vehicle Tuesday afternoon in the town of Maxton.
Sgt. Cody Smith with the North Carolina Highway Patrol identified the victims as Danielle Locklear, 30, Anastacia Locklear, 24, and Tiffany Goines, 26.
The Two Hill Fire Department and Lumberton Rescue Squad responded to Maxton Pond after a 911 caller alerted them to a possible car in the water.
Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins said evidence at the scene led authorities to believe the car became submerged as the result of a traffic-related incident.
Smith said they’re still working to pinpoint when the accident happened.
He said the ladies were traveling west on Haze Road when they drove off part of the road that’s washed out due to previous natural disasters.
Smith said the car hit the concrete slab in the pond and went into the water.
On Wednesday, the victims’ families, friends and members of the community stopped by the area still in disbelief about what happened.
“It’s just a hard pill to swallow,” Danielle’s father, Ronnie Locklear, said.
Many people complained about there not being a barrier or sign warning people of the hazardous road.
“A vehicle shouldn’t be able to come past the asphalt there in a situation like this. Never had any warning signs up… nothing up there," Locklear said.
“It’s just a sad situation in our community three beautiful young ladies lost their lives," Amber Woods, who lives nearby, said.
The North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the crash.