Thursday, June 1, 2006


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 around.”
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 the crash.


Mabank man dies diving off boat dock
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 cell phone.
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 Cabin
By Joan B. Guertin
Monitor Correspondent

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 heard.
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 months.
• 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 discovered.
• approved 10 street lights as requested by the Neighborhood Watch.