Surf City police believe inclement weather was a contributing factor in a crash that killed 20-year-old Dax Christopher Baker early Thursday morning.
"I'm on Broadway Street in Surf City and I am looking for my son," the man's mother told 911 operators. "Supposedly he ran off the road and into the water. [He] called his girlfriend and said he couldn't get the door open....this was about an hour ago."
The dispatch operator explained that no 911 calls about the accident had been made at that point, and asked the woman if she knew where her son was.
"No, I don't," the woman responded. "I can tell you he's been under the influence, so honestly, I couldn't tell you."
After an apparent misunderstanding of the man's believed location, the dispatcher transferred the mother to Highway Patrol in case a 911 call went to them instead.
Another call was made to 911 from Baker's friend who explained that Baker was not answering his phone.
"I've talked to his mom and she said there's, like, skid marks going into the ocean and she can't get in touch with him," he told 911 operators.
"His mom called here but didn't know a location. How do you know a location?" the 911 operator asked.
"His girlfriend can track him on his phone and the address I gave you, or whatever, of where his phone is," he explained. "She sees skid marks going in but nothing coming out and she can't find him or anything."
Baker's mother spotted her son's car and called 911 again in tears.
"I just called you about my son. He's in the water...in the car," she said.
"Can you see it visibly at this time?" the 911 operator asked.
"Yes, yes, yes..." the mother answered.
According to Surf City Police Chief Ron Shanahan, officers responded to the call about a submerged vehicle in a canal at the end of Broadway Street around 1:45 a.m.
Police arrived at the scene and determined the vehicle had been in the water for some time.
"The last time someone saw him was 10:30," his mom told 911 operators. "The last time I talked to him was at midnight."
Rescuers were able to pull the vehicle from the canal and found Baker's body inside.
Detectives believe the inclement weather caused the crash.
The accident is still under investigation.
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