Family recovering after aerial
crash in Cedar Creek Lake
Monitor Staff Reports
PAYNE SPRINGS–A 4-year-old boy and his parents are reported in good
condition after surviving a helicopter crash Sunday morning.
The adults were reported recuperating at Baylor Medical Center, while
their son remains in Children’s Hospital in Dallas.
They family is from the Dallas area.
Pilot Jay Roden, 51, his wife Kim, 40 and their 4-year-old son were
reportedly en route to the lake when they lost engine power and went
down in the lake.
Deep lacerations were sustained by the pilot .His wife, reportedly has
broken bones, But both are said to be in good conditions, according to a
Department of Public Safety (DPS) spokesman.
Game Warden Capt. Gary Dugan got the emergency call about 10:20 a.m. and
estimates it occurred around 10 a.m.
The small helicopter, weighing only 2,500 pounds went down in the area
of Carolyn Estates and Pinnacle Point, officials said.
Dugan reports the pilot having called DPS that the aircraft lost power.
“Fortunately, they were pretty low to the water when it happened,” Dugan
said. “But they still hit the water pretty hard.”
The busy weekend brought many who witnessed the crash.
A private citizen on a Jet Ski retrieved the family members from the
water, as the helicopter began to sink.
Dugan credited the man with helping save their lives.
“I feel he played a big part in keeping them from downing.
“We may not have gotten to them in time, if that Jet Ski hadn’t been
Game wardens assigned to the area during the Memorial Day weekend
secured the scene and located the helicopter at about 27 feet down at
the bottom of the lake, Dugan said.
The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting the investigation into
Mabank man dies diving off boat
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–A Mabank man died, soon after diving from a boat ramp in a
subdivision near the Pinnacle Club, recently.
Richard Wayne Gunter, 34, of Mabank was pronounced dead at 8:49 p.m.
Wednesday at East Texas Medical Center in Athens.
Gunter was with friend Tara Castro, 30, swimming near the ramp in
Carolyn Estates that day.
According to sources near the family, Gunter was warned that the water
was not deep enough for diving, but the warning was ignored.
When Gunter did not surface after about 90 seconds, Castro knew
something was wrong and ran for help, according to police reports.
Castro cannot swim.
Castro recruited Robert Preddy, 57, who was passing by to help. He
reported wading out to the end of the dock, into water about two and a
half feet deep, when he located Gunter and pulled him ashore.
CPR was begun immediately and an emergency call was placed on Preddy’s
Henderson County Sheriff’s deputies, Payne Springs Fire Department and
Texas game wardens responded.
The incident is still under investigation.
In the absence of forensic results, the incident is being viewed as an
accidental drowning, according to the Henderson County Sheriff’s Office.
No ‘friendly lawsuit’ for Log
By Joan B. Guertin
LOG CABIN–It only took a few minutes for the City Council and local
citizens to turn down a request from the Eustace Independent School
District to enter into a “friendly lawsuit.” EISD attorney Kevin Chester
requested the action to settle back taxes on properties in Section 14.
This issue dates back 10 years to when the city was governed by a
property owners association, which no longer exists, council members
In other business, the council:
• approved hiring Buddy Barton as temporary, acting chief of police,
following a closed executive session. A candidate search is currently
underway to fill the position permanently.
• approved a sewer service rate of $43.23 for when the new wastewater
treatment plant is completed.
It is estimated that the project may not be completed for about 18 to 24
• agreed to change the capacity of the elevated water storage tank, as
recommended by KSA Engineers from 175,000 gallons to 125,000, which will
serve approximately 1,200 water meters.
• approved placing the $10,000 insurance settlement received from the
Texas Municipal League for the wrecked police cruiser into Certificates
of Deposit (CDs), until needed for a replacement vehicle.
• approved demolition of abandoned structures on the properties of
Shirley King, Ronald Wible, and Kenneth Smith. Action on a property in
the name of Amparo Cabrira was tabled because a new contact address was
• approved 10 street lights as requested by the Neighborhood Watch.