Boating accident on High Rock Lake kills mother, son
By Mark Wineka
LEXINGTON — A boating accident on High Rock Lake early this afternoon led to the deaths of a mother and her young son and serious injuries to another family member.
The 32-year-old mother was believed to be pregnant, according to reports.
No identities had been released as of early evening.
Dive teams were called in to recover the body of the woman, who was knocked into the Swearing Creek portion of the lake on the Davidson County side.
Her body was found after about a four-hour search, N.C. Wildlife Resource Sgt. Tony Sharum said. He estimated the depth of the water where divers were looking at 15 to 20 feet.
“It’s sad, that’s for sure,” Sharum said.
The mother, her husband, their son — who was “under 4,” Sharum said — and another adult member of the family were riding on a pontoon boat in a narrow portion of Swearing Creek when it met a ski boat going in the opposite direction.
The ski boat also carried four people.
Sharum said the driver of the ski boat, which was “traveling at a greater speed” than the pontoon, said he failed to see the pontoon until the last moment.
Sharum said the boats struck almost bow-to-bow and, on impact, the ski boat jumped onto the front of the pontoon, striking some of the pontoon’s passengers.
He said it was his understanding from interviews that three of the four pontoon passengers were knocked into the water. Everyone on the ski boat stayed on board, and they were not hurt, Sharum said.
The driver of the pontoon was thought to be the husband and father of the woman and young boy, respectively. His injuries were thought to be minor.
Sharum said the boy died on his way to a hospital, and the other adult family member’s injuries were serious.
The pontoon had life preservers on board. He said he had no indication that the adults on the pontoon were wearing preservers. They are not required to wear them. He was not sure whether the young boy was wearing a preserver.
Sharum said alcohol was not a factor in the accident, which happened at roughly 12:30 p.m.
No one was skiing behind the ski boat, Sharum added.
As for the speed of the ski boat, Sharum stopped short of saying it was traveling at too high of a speed. He said he will be reviewing the accident with the Davidson County district attorney’s office to determine whether any charges should be filed.
Sharum said he couldn’t speculate on whether the woman drowned or died from being hit by the ski boat.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.