Thursday, June 11, 2009
Woman dies on Cedar Creek Lake
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
TOOL–Volunteer firefighters from the Tool Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. assisted with a boating accident near Don’s Port that claimed the life of a woman and sent one man to the hospital by helicopter.
The unit was called out at 12:26 a.m. Sunday.
According to a source at the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office, passenger Shana Lee Williams, 39, of Athens died of injuries when the boat put on some speed in open water, hitting a water intake pipe belonging to West Cedar Creek Municipal Utility District.
Tony Tudor, 35, who was piloting the vessel, was airlifted by helicopter to a hospital in Tyler.
A volunteer with the fire department confirmed the death. Fire Chief Rodney McClain and assistant chief Blake Farrar used their CPR training to assist ETMC paramedics, while transporting Williams to Gun Barrel City. Tool VFD member Danielle Lorenz acted as navigator for the ambulance driver, whose GPS unit was inoperable at the time.
Six people were aboard the boat that day – Williams, four men, and a young boy about 8, who didn’t appear to be related to Williams.
One of the men, reportedly, swam about 500 yards to shore to report the accident.
Fire captain Matt Molnar and firefighters Nathan Molnar, Tony Bookman, Amanda Trapp and Lee Todd also worked the scene with some of them continuing to offer assistance with the retrieval of the vessel until 5 p.m. Sunday.
Personnel from the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office and the game warden were also on the scene.
Unofficial reports say the party may have had some mechanical problems earlier in the day, getting a tow into Don’s Port. After repairs were made, the boat reportedly returned to the water to run trot lines.
Following the incident, WCCMUD inspected the intake pipe and reported no damage. The Monitor was told that the intake is lit at night and marked by buoys.
Officials from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Rusk are continuing their investigation of the incident.
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