[Vision2020] KTVB and KREM report on Paul Joyce in Orofino

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Thu May 12 12:51:48 PDT 2016

KTVB and KREM report on Paul Joyce in Orofino


CLEARWATER COUNTY, Idaho – Authorities said a University of Idaho dean 
who was found dead back in April was just trying to get back to his 
hotel late at night.

Paul Joyce, 57, was found submerged in his Toyota Prius in the Dworshak 
Reservoir at the Big Eddy Boat Ramp. Authorities confirmed that his 
cause of death was drowning, but they have not said much else.

On April 22nd, the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office said Paul Joyce 
was at the High Country Inn near the community of Ahsahka. Around 10:30 
p.m., he decided to leave the Inn and head back to his hotel in nearby 
Orofino, according to authorities.

Investigators said Joyce was not familiar with the area and was given 
directions on how to get to Orofino. They believe he took a couple of 
wrong turns and eventually ended up drowning at the Dworshak Reservoir.

So how did Joyce drive down this steep ramp and manage to submerge his 
car? KREM 2 on Your Side wanted to take a look at the area for ourselves.

Starting at the High Country Inn on the Old Ahsahka Grade, KREM 2’s 
Taylor Viydo hooked up a camera to his car and left the motel just as 
Joyce would have. Once Joyce got to the end of the old grade, he should 
have gone right, downhill towards Ahsahka. He instead went left, driving 
up hill.

He would then have to stay on Viewpoint Road for around two miles, 
navigating turns in the dark. Once Joyce got to the Big Eddy Boat Launch 
area, he would have to turn right into a parking lot. He could have went 
around the parking spots and over to the boat launch. Joyce could have 
also taken a sharp turn and headed directly to the boat launch.

But once he got there, investigators said the car went into the water by 
driving directly down the ramp. He would not be spotted until the next 
morning and nobody called authorities until later that day, according to 

KREM 2 also noticed light poles in both the parking lot and near the 
boat ramp. KREM 2 reached out to Dworshak State Park officials and left 
a message to find out if those lights would have been turned on at the 
time Joyce drove through the area, but have not heard back.

At last check, the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office was still awaiting 
toxicology results in this case.


P.S.:  The lack of prominent street and area signage that would respond 
to headlights at night is undoubtedly a contributing factor in this 
tragedy.  The area around this boat ramp is certainly not the only 
location in rural and insular Idaho where non-locals could be expected 
to utilize public facilities, yet the lack of signage, lighting, street 
striping, and other directional accoutrements of a more developed 
community allow unfamiliar visitors to take unnecessary and erroneous 
routes to their disadvantage.  Perhaps a local review of similar sites 
would not be amiss.  --KM

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