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With Dorian winds still raging, ‘impaired’ man drives truck into ocean, NC police say

Jeep stuck on the beach in South Carolina as Dorian rolls through

People at the beach marveled at a Jeep being hit by ocean waves at 37th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach South Carolina on September 5, 2019 as Hurricane Dorian moved up the coastline.
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People at the beach marveled at a Jeep being hit by ocean waves at 37th Avenue North in Myrtle Beach South Carolina on September 5, 2019 as Hurricane Dorian moved up the coastline.

A North Carolina man who got his truck stuck in the waves at the Outer Banks on Friday while Dorian raged looked like he might be trying to one up the now-infamous red jeep.

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Kill Devil Hills Police, Fire and Ocean Rescue responded to a call at approximately 2:30 p.m. for a vehicle being swept into the ocean and the driver trapped in the vehicle. The police said the passenger was able to get out, however the driver was still in the vehicle. Officers arrived on scene and were able to get the driver out of the pickup. The driver was identified as Troy J. Topash, 41, of Kill Devil Hills. Upon further investigation, Mr. Topash was determined to be impaired and was arrested. Kill Devil Hills Police Departme

Turns out he was just drunk, police said.

Cops on the scene arrested 41-year-old Troy J. Topash after rescuers freed him from the pickup truck surrounded by choppy surf, according to the Kill Devil Hills Police Department.

Topash was driving a white truck belonging to Common Sense Construction company on the beach at the Outer Banks when he got trapped inside, images shared by the police on Facebook show.

“Upon further investigation, Mr. Topash was determined to be impaired and was arrested,” police said in the post.

Kill Devil Hills is 60 miles north of where the eye of the storm passed over Cape Hatteras Friday morning.

Rescuers responded to a call around 2:30 p.m. that a vehicle was being swept into the ocean with the driver still inside, according to police. A passenger in the truck had already escaped.

Dorian was roughly 125 miles off the coast of North Carolina at that time, National Hurricane Center updates show. Kill Devil Hills was also under a mandatory evacuation order and strict curfews, which remain in effect as of Friday evening.

Police said high winds and “dangerous ocean conditions” were prevalent, adding that residents are not permitted to drive on the beach this time of year.

“Kill Devil Hills Ocean Rescue was able to secure the pickup with a tow strap to prevent it from washing further out,” police said. “Seto’s towing was eventually able to extract the truck from the ocean.”

Residents on Facebook were less than pleased that police, firefighters and ocean squad rescuers were forced to risk their lives during the storm for Topash.

“Classic example of someone’s foolishness putting first responders in danger,” one person commented.

Some drew parallels with the red jeep left on the sand in Myrtle Beach.

“Not another one? What is it with people wanting to drive in the surf,” someone said. “Did Dorian bring crazy along with him?”

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Hayley is a Real Time reporter at The Charlotte Observer covering breaking news and trending stories in the Carolinas. She also created the Observer’s unofficial bird beat (est. 2015) with a summer full of ornithological-related content, including a story about Barred Owls in love.
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