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HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The holiday travel season has already gotten off to a deadly start. One person died in an accident along Holden Beach Rd. in Brunswick County this morning.

Investigators say a wet road contributed to the crash. Now one family is mourning the loss of a loved one, while another driver faces criminal charges.

“It was just tragic. It’s a holiday weekend, and you think that would never happen to you,” said Kathyrine Donaldson, who says she was working at her desk at Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning on NC 130 in Holden Beach when she heard a loud bang.

“I immediately got on my cell phone and called 911 and noticed the car had flipped over and was in the ditch, and they were trying to pull people out, and they were just screaming,” Donaldson said.

Highway Patrol says Mark Teague, 25, of Supply, died in the crash. Troopers say Teague and his wife were traveling on Holden Beach Rd. just before 10 a.m.

They say a car driven by Rhonda Varnam, 52, of Supply, hydroplaned and crossed the center line and hit the Teagues’ car.

Donaldson says she believes the two cars hit head-on.

“The turn is really sharp, so I can just assume that one of them crossed over, and with the roads being wet and trying to scoot back over, it just didn’t really happen,” she said.

Teague’s wife and Varnam were transported to New Hanover Regional Medical Center. There’s no update yet on their condition.

Highway Patrol says Varnam will be charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle.

The highway patrol says last year 15 motorists were killed and 391 were injured on North Carolina highways during the holiday season.

Comment on this Story

  • Britney Teague

    My husband and I where on our way to Holden Beach Food Lion when we got hit. The road was slippery we were going between 40 45 Road Condition when my husbands last words to me was ” Oh MY GOD BRITNEY” that’s when we got hit. I remember the glass flying and we came to a stop. I remember my grandpa telling me if your in a car accident always try to turn the car off, so I did and after I did I looked over and saw my husband. as I looked his head was up then his head dropped down his eyes closed. There was so much blood poring out of his nose mouth and ears! AN IMAGE that I WILL NEVER FORGET! As the lady pulled me out all I can say or do was lye there and scream for my husband. “GET HIM HE”S BLEEDING BAD PLEASE GET HIM. Well My HUSBAND died instantly there was no saving him. As I lay in the hospital bed all I can think about is where is my husband is he ok, then I get a phone call my mother in law ” HOW are you” she said HOW is mark how is my husband where is he at” I said. ” no honey he’s not honey he’s dead” I screamed and screamed No NO NO. now because of this woman negligence on her part with her bald tiers driving to fast for road conditions now I have to explain to our 2 year old Mark Your daddy is dead because a woman was negligent and because of her you will never see your daddy buy daddy is with you always in your heart and he is looking down on you. he lives in a land where there Is no pain where our lord lives he walks with Jesus. I DREAD the day I have to explain what happened because I know I will break down. Christmas the 25 was our 2 years of being married I will never feel the same bout Christmas again nor any holiday in that matter. To the woman who did this to my family “WHY, HOW COULD YOU?” how I feel is that im still waiting for him to come home I still look for him. Thank you for reading this I hope you all understand that life is to short and you never know when its your time so say I love you as much as you can and forgive one another.

  • unknown

    For those who is commenting on here. The 52 year old woman was passing a vehicle while going around that corner while is was raining when she did she had lost control do to the road conditions and being her tires having no tread and hit the other vehicle head on. She was, is at fault! For those is posting on here ” How can she be charged?” NOW YOU KNOW THE FACTS!

  • angelmom3302011

    Its so easy to call wrecks an accident but its not its more like I was irresponsible and now because I was not paying attention , driving to fast or whatever you were doing besides driving cautiously and paying attention someone is dead. I know first hand the heartache that comes from the irresponsible people behind the wheel of a deadly machine can cause others. My 16 year old daughter was killed 3 years ago just a few feet from her destination on a country road with the sun shining no rain no clouds perfect conditions if you can call it that but the 20 year old driver of an over sized dodge truck traveling 55 mph smashed into the front of the small compact car she was riding in with a friend. He was distracted but for a split second and her life was over. He was charged with a misdemeanor and lost his NCDL for one year and ordered to do community service that’s it. At best it was an inconvenience for a year but other than that it cost him nothing. I lost my only daughter my best friend and the world lost a beautiful young woman full of potential and promise. He remains alive and healthy and a drain on tax payers because he was already on probation for a felony charge. He did the wrong thing but lost nothing . We no longer hold people responsible for what they do we make excuses for them and get them therapy . Our society has become enablers for criminals and misfits and we will until people stand up and say enough is enough and make individuals responsible for what they do and stop giving everyone who breaks the law a pill and timeout.

  • Jennifer

    well..lets just enact a law forbidding driving in the rain if people are gonna get charged for hydroplaning…while we’re at it…I’ve had the wind blow me awful close to other cars while driving.. maybe we should just not drive. I am sorry for the loss of people but i’m sure the family understands that accidents happen. Makes no sense. IF what this article states is correct on what happened.

  • Calvin Lewis

    It’s called exceeding a safe speed for conditions, simplely put slow down in poor weather and you won’t hydroplane.

  • Guest-o-matic

    That law is called, “Driving to fast for conditions”. In other words, SLOW DOWN if it’s raining so hard you’re floating on water! There is another that states “Improper/Unsafe Equipment”. That translates to “No bald tires and functioning brakes”.

    Sometimes “accidents”, as you term them, especially in the case of death are the direct result of poor decision making and bad judgment. That’s why “charges apply”. Each driver has a direct responsibility to exercise proper judgment and caution dependent on all existing conditions (It’s in your NCDMV handbook).

    You may want to begin at the elementary level of law school before you begin attempting to change or enact new laws!

  • Cathie24

    Hydroplaning happens when you are driving too fast for your tires to make contact with the pavement, therefore you are actually skimming on the rainwater on the road. New roads add oil to the water and increase the possibility of hydroplaning. Speed limits are set for reasons, this is one of them. Speed wasn’t mentioned but will be a factor in the investigation by police. When weather conditions are bad you should exercise common sense and slow down, save your self and others from harm. If you need to be somewhere, leave a little earlier, you’ll get there.

  • Sonja

    You need to shut your mouth! You don’t know all the information about this, and that is my cousin that got killed!! Stupid idiots!!!!!

  • stwth6461

    On that exact same stretch I watched a red truck pull out of Kirby Road and I wouldn’t exactly call it hydroplaning. They kept goosing the gas and fishtailing… not once but three times that I witnessed, coming dangerously close to my lane. Let’s just try to accept responsibility for our actions. I bet you blame others for a lot of your indiscretions. I bet you’re a very unhappy person too.

  • AtomicAJ

    You’re clearly annoyed that the driver of the vehicle that killed a man is being charged. I’ll remind you that you don’t have all the facts. Here’s a fact, all drivers are required to observe the maximum safe speed, which may be less than the posted speed limit depending on road conditions.

  • What?

    You are suppose to have control of your vechcle. You can feel your car hydroplaning so if just lift your foot off the gas pedal for just a second, your car instantly makes contact with the road again. This person was obviously going too fast for the road conditions and should be charged. A person is dead because this person was speeding, let’s keep things in perspective here.

  • Guest X

    First to the Teague family, let me say how truly sorry I am for your loss.Now my question is,”How can someone be charged with a crime if it was truly an accident”?Unless speed was a factor.

  • Sareyna

    You can hydroplane at 20mph…..Accidents do happen through no fault. I am so sorry for the loss this family is suffering for this young man. But this woman may or may not have been able to prevent it.

  • deputy25

    first of all ACCIDENTS dont happen, they are CAUSED! you will not hydroplane if you are traveling at a reduced speed when inclement road conditions are present. i can gaurantee you she was driving to fast for conditions. no matter what the new cars have on for skid control, best tires, its just like a boat, it is going to go across the water when you hit a puddle or standing water but with no control in a vehicle. My vehicle , if the cruise is set, will cancel the cruise and shut the motor to an idle safely if you start to hydroplane, it works well.but i still slow down , way down in water filled roadways,snow and ice. just slow down people are getting no where FAST!!

  • guest45

    I’m glad to see this charge, it’s time for a little personal responsibility, we got a woman that is elderly that drives down our development road at 50 to 60 mph, she is going to kill someone’s child or dog’s, I’m fed up, everybody is grumbling but no one wants to confront or hurt her feelings, I’m all for seeing some personal responsibility being handed out.

  • J Carter

    I am very sorry for your family’s loss. People should not be bickering back and forth about such, when something so tragic has happened. I will keep everyone in my prayers. This is why social media is some times a weapon to hurt people. Again, may God be with you and your family during this very difficult time.

  • Sareyna

    Hydroplaning happens when one or more tires is lifted from the road by a wedge of water that gets trapped in front of and under a tire as the vehicle drives through water. Hydroplaning most frequently occurs during heavy rainstorms when water creates puddles on the highway or expressway. In addition to the accompanying splash and scaring the heck out of the driver, hydroplaning typically causes the steering wheel to jerk and the vehicle to abruptly pull towards the puddle.

    The speed at which a tire hydroplanes is a function of water depth, vehicle speed, vehicle weight, tire width, tread depth and tread design. It depends on how much water has to be removed, how much weight is pressing down on the tires and how efficient the tread design is at evacuating water. While deeper water, higher speeds, lighter vehicles, wider tires, less tread depth and less efficient tread designs will cause tires to hydroplane at lower speeds; all tires will be forced to hydroplane at some speed.

  • geusty1234567

    First let me say that I am truly sorry for the death of Mr. Teague and my heart goes out to the family.

    Those of you who are unfamiliar with Stone Chimney Rd should know that this road is a very dangerous road. It has about 11 sharp curves in 7 miles (If you count each part of the s curves as 1 each). There have been MANY fatalities on this road.

    On the 7 mile stretch of curving road are 2 potential passing zones with one being very short. The visibility on this road is never that great.

    Check out Stone Chimney Rd on Google maps and you can see for yourself how treacherous it is in the best of times.

    Going the speed limit can cause one to cross left of center when the road is wet. The speed limit on these curves is posted at 35 mph. So anyone could cross left of center going 35 miles an hour if the road is wet. That is just how it is.

    Once again to the Teague family; I am very sorry for your loss.

  • demona

    it did not happen on stone chimney road.. it was holden beach road..

  • michael robeson

    Just because your tires may have some tread left on them does not constitute they are safe. Tires have wear bars built into the tread once the bars are flush with the tread it is time to replace them. These are what allows water to be diverted through the tread.Here is a way to check your tires take a penny and turn abe on his head on the wear bar in the tread , the tread should touch abes hari if not it is time to get tires.

  • ACasselman

    The way this news article is written, it is confusing to me? Here where it says

    “The turn is really sharp, so I can just assume that one of them crossed over, and with the roads being wet and trying to scoot back over, it just didn’t really happen,”

    It sounds to me that it could have been either one of the driver’s fault? Rhonda could have been the one who may have been going to fast & hydroplaned or it could have been the other driver who was going to fast & hydroplaned? The way the article is worded, it’s not specific as to who’s fault it is other than saying Rhonda will be charged!
    If the article coinsides with with what the police report says, then I don’t know how they could exactly pin this as solely being Rhonda’s fault & charging her with it? I’m not trying to take sides or anything but it’s just that this article doesn’t make it too clear as far as who’s fault it truly was! With that said, we are not suppose to judge others & put people down most especially for the fact that none of us were there to see this for our own eyes to know who’s fault it was! What we do know is both these families are suffering and going thru a terrible tradegy that we should be kind enough to pass judgement on them but instead be vigilant to keep them lifted in our prayers! Mr. Teagues wife needs the love, prayers & support of the community just as Rhonda & her family does as well! We don’t need to point fingers & to make somebody feel worse than they already do about a tradegy such as this! I do know Rhonda and I know the kind of person she is! She will give you the shirt off of your back & is a kind hearted compassionate Christian woman & I know whether it did turn out to be her fault or not, I know that if she is concious & aware of what has happened, she is devastated & hurting not just physically but emotionally! So I ask that we as a community keep both the Teague family & also Rhonda & her family lifted in our love & prayers & give them all the support we can! God’s blessing to all & may you all have a safe & happy Thanksgiving!

  • deputy25

    Accident did not happen here. read the article, Fast, Raining, wet conditions, curve ,bald tires. it was preventable. it was caused. this did not have to happen.


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