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Officer confirms cause of boat mishap

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The Daily Reflector

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on Saturday said a man involved in a boating mishap with this two children on the Tar River earlier this month hit a submerged object, which caused him to crash.

John James Whitehurst, 34, of Greenville, suffered a head wound as a result of the May 1 crash near Pactolus and was airlifted to Vidant Medical Center. His two children were transported by ambulance.

Wildlife Law Enforcement Officer Samaria Burnette released the cause of the mishap on Saturday as well as Whitehurst’s name. She said on Friday her full report would not be available for a month or more.

In a recording of a 40-minute 911 call after the incident, Whitehurst told dispatchers that he thought he hit something in the river. He said that caused a wreck which tore the top off of the boat, a Reddick Bayrunner.

“The boat's on land, my kids are fine and I have a big, terrible gash in my head,” he told dispatchers. “I have no idea what just happened. I'm west of Yankee Hall and Washington. I'm bleeding terribly. The kids have a life jacket on, I do not.” 

Whitehurst said his children were ages 4 and 2. A dog also was rescued. An update on his condition was not available from Vidant Medical Center on Saturday.

Whitehurst and his family launched the craft from Port Terminal in Greenville. The wreck was reported at 5:13 p.m. Greenville, Pactolus and Eastern Pines fire and rescue departments responded in addition to EastCare and the wildlife service.

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