Cell phone coverage cause dispatch response issues


The night that 4-year-old Hayden Jeter died, witnesses who called 911, were sent to the wrong county dispatch.

The first witnesses calling that the wreck had happened, was sent to Union County 911, even though the wreck had happened 2 miles into Spartanburg County near Pauline.

The witness spelled out the cross street, but still couldn’t clearly articulate where she was, and Sheriff David Taylor says the dispatcher was not able to find Hugh Street in her dispatch.

After nearly 8 minutes, the dispatcher realized that the street was in Spartanburg County and transferred the caller. Then seconds later Glen Springs-Pauline Fire Department was dispatched to the deadly wreck on Highway 215.

Because of where the caller had been, their cell phone had pinged a Union County cell tower, linking them to that dispatch.

Cell Phone calls come in to dispatch in two phases. In the first phase, the call shows the coordinates to the closest cell phone tower. The second phase shows the coordinates to the exact location of the cell phone.

In this case, because of the sparse cell phone coverage, dispatch could not get the exact coordinates.

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