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Home  |  News  |  Carjacking suspect crashes in river after launching off embankment

Carjacking suspect crashes in river after launching off embankment

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Friday, June 24, 2011

WAMPEE, SC (WMBF) - A North Carolina man is in police custody at the hospital after a pick-up truck he reportedly carjacked crashed into the Waccamaw River off Star Bluff Road in the Wampee area of Horry County.

Horry County Police say Gregory Allen Spry, 44, of Laurinburg, N.C., robbed at least three people of their vehicles at gunpoint late Wednesday afternoon. They say he also crashed into several other cars along Highway 90.

Police said the last vehicle he stole was the pick-up truck, which he drove down Star Bluff Road and into the river around 5:45 p.m.

"He was wide open just as hard as he could drive it," said A.D. Watts who lives right beside the river at the end of Star Bluff Road.

He said he was sitting on a nearby dock when he heard the truck coming before he even saw it.

"He come off the pavement and hit the dirt, and he was just wide open, hit those rocks and he flew like a rocket across the river."

Travis Barnhill lives at the end of Star Bluff Road too. He was amazed to see what happened.

"It was impressive to see how far the vehicle actually launched," Barnhill said.

"My late uncle actually built the berm that's right there by the river to protect it from erosion, and that berm that he made acted like a ramp I suppose."

By the time police responded and found Spry he was lying on the bank on the other side of the river.

Watts had recognized the truck because he knows the owner. So he swam over to help.

"When I pulled the guy out of the truck I realized he had to have stolen the truck," Watts explained. "He was over there screaming 'Help me please. Don't let me die.' He was hurt pretty bad."

Police and medics used Watts' canoe to get to Spry. It was an ordeal Watts and Barnhill said caused a commotion in the neighborhood, but they were just glad no one was in the path of the truck.

"Kids play out here. I work out here. All my family is out here," Barnhill said. "Anything could have happened with that truck."

Spry was then taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries, where Sgt. Robert Kegler with the Horry County Police Department said Thursday he is listed in critical condition.

Additionally, Kegler said Spry has been arrested and charges are pending at this time. Once Spry is released from the hospital, he will be taken to the J. Reuben Long Detention Center.

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