Havelock police are continuing to investigate a crash that killed a young Havelock woman, but they admit some questions about the crash may never be known.
Janie Queen, 20, died Oct. 18 when the car she was driving left the service road in front of the Church Road Bridge and plunged into Slocum Creek.
Havelock Police Chief G. Wayne Cyrus said the investigation is still in its preliminary stages. He said investigators have determined from witnesses that no other vehicles were involved in the crash, and they have eliminated the possibility of a mechanical failure with Queen’s 2001 Toyota Camry.
“We’ve had the car looked at by a certified mechanic to determine if there was any issue with the steering linkage or any other function of the vehicle that may have caused the vehicle to run off the side of the roadway,” he said. “Those examinations have indicated that we’re not dealing with a malfunction of the vehicle regarding the accident.”
Cyrus said investigators are awaiting toxicology results, but that may not be enough to determine if Queen had any sort of medical emergency that caused the crash.
He said a cell phone was recovered from the vehicle, but it was damaged in the water and may not provide answers as to whether Queen may have been on the phone at the time of the crash.
Cyrus said that some questions surrounding the crash may never get answered.
“I think everyone here, particular those of us who were first on scene, with Lt. Woods going into the water and the other three gentlemen who went into the water, it has really impacted us and our hearts go out to the family members of Miss Queen and to her close friends and relatives and those who knew her,” Cyrus said. “It was just a tragedy. We’re feeling some of the same things as the family and friends and relatives.”
Queen was heading east on the service road in front of the Hampton Inn shortly before 3 p.m. when the crash happened. As the road curves right to enter the bridge, the vehicle kept going straight, went down the embankment to the left of the bridge and into the water. There were no noticeable skid marks on the service road near where the car left the road.
Construction crews had been in the area of the crash for weeks as work to demolish the 88-year-old Church Road Bridge progresses. The bridge was permanently closed Monday, just four days after the crash.
Power poles had to be relocated and lines rerouted in anticipation of the construction of the new bridge, which will parallel U.S. 70 and connect the service roads in front of the Hampton Inn on the west side of the creek and in front of the Subway on the east side of the creek.
Though crews were in the area at the time of the crash, they were not specifically working near the crash site, and there were no lane closures.
On Monday morning, Department of Transportation worker Wesley Brazelton pulled barricades in front of the bridge, marking its official closure. Next to and on top of the side wall of the bridge were balloons, candles, flowers and messages left in honor of a life gone too young and too soon.