The Union Recorder

Homepage

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
web break-1.jpg

Features
UR_20140412_B001.jpg

Business
Between the Lines.JPG

Cade Bass practices her pitching technique at the newly opened Between the Lines 8,000-square foot indoor facility located inside the Columbia Center at 611 Hammock Rd. Members gain 24-hour access to the batting cages, tee work and soft toss training stations, pitching rubber and areas for various agility and other sport-related fitness activities.

Local Sports
04-19 Grigley signing 1.JPG

Baldwin High track and field senior Alashawn Grigley signed her National Letter of Intent to attend Jackson State University Thursday with teammates, family and supportive coaches present.

Editorials
Columns
Letters
Local Weather Radar
Poll
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
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
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday