The Union Recorder

Local News

February 24, 2014

Man dies after truck enters lake waters

MILLEDGEVILLE — A beloved local pastor lost his life at Sinclair Marina Monday afternoon after an accident at Lake Sinclair.

The Baldwin County coroner pronounced Wendell Ray Thomas, 75, dead at 4:22 p.m.

Thomas’ Dodge pickup truck and attached boat trailer were submerged underwater until a local towing company and divers recovered the vehicle around 4 p.m. Monday.

Capt. Brad King of the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office ruled out mechanical failure but isn’t yet sure what caused the event.

A Sinclair Marina witness confirmed that Thomas pulled in the marina at 2:45 p.m. to unload his boat.

King said the 75-year-old had launched the boat and was likely moving the truck when something went wrong.

A bystander alerted authorities when he noticed the boat floating with no driver.

The 911 call came in at 3:13 p.m.

Two local volunteer firefighters dove in to recover the driver within 10 minutes.

City Battalion Chief Greg Hood said he heard the distress call on the radio and wasn’t sure if anyone was in the truck or not.

“I got here and could see the top of the vehicle. I got permission and decided to go in there. Myself and another volunteer went in and were able to bust out the window.”

Hood said after getting Thomas from the truck to land EMS personnel were waiting for transport.

Investigators await the autopsy report, examination of the vehicle and marina video to identify the cause of death.

Thomas was known to many in Milledgeville for his founding and senior pastoral role at Freedom Church.

According to history on the church website, Brother Thomas desired to establish an independent church that would preach the Gospel without apology and challenge Christians to live a life of holiness, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.  

The church family was first established in 1985 on South Wayne Street in a former “dance hall” and moved to Underwood Road a year later where the congregation now flourishes.

He was married to Pat Thomas.

1
Text Only
Local News
Poll
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!