By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Questions surround lake death
j chapel cpr w sm
Workers perform emergency procedures on Nancy Randolph after members of the sheriffs department removed her from her submerged vehicle. - photo by Photo by Reed Vanderpool
Authorities still have many questions concerning why a Putnam County woman drove her Chevrolet Blazer off a Johnson’s Chapel boat ramp and into Center Hill Lake Monday.According to Sheriff Patrick Ray, 40-year-old Nancy Randolph was pronounced dead at DeKalb Community Hospital shortly after the incident.Ray said two people escaped the sinking vehicle, which came to rest in 10-15 feet of water, nearly 30 feet from the shoreline.While the sheriff’s department has not released the names of the survivors, the Review has learned that they were Randolph’s daughter, Sara Randolph, and the daughter's boyfriend, 21-year-old Houston Bussell.Ray said a nearby deputy arrived on the scene within seven minutes of the report being dispatched, around 12:25 p.m.The deputy found two adults who told him that the vehicle they were in ran into the lake and the driver was still inside.According to Ray, a deputy and two sheriff’s department detectives jumped into the water, retrieved Randolph from the submerged vehicle and began emergency procedures on the woman. Friends of the family have told the Review that the two survivors said the crash was no accident.Sources said that Sara Randolph was in the front seat of the SUV, and Bussell was riding in the back seat when Nancy Randolph drove into the parking lot of the recreation area at Johnson’s Chapel and stopped the vehicle.Apparently the woman simply took her foot off the brake and sped into the water. Sara Randolph reportedly asked, “What are we doing here?” just before the older woman drove the Blazer into Center Hill Lake.Sources said Bussell got his door open as the SUV was sinking, helped Sara Randolph to safety and returned for her mother, who pushed him away and refused to be rescued.Sheriff Ray told the Review that he would like to commend Deputy Brian Williams and Detectives Mike Billings and Jeremy Taylor, who dove into the cold water and risked their own lives to save Randolph.The sheriff’s department is still investigating the incident.