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.jpg

Features
SRC 5.jpg

The Teen Club, as part of the Twin Lakes Library System's Summer Reading Club, and Reference Supervisor Dabney Kinser do candy science experiments to finish up the science themed reading club experience.

Business
07-25 Chatter.JPG

Chatter Boutique owner Amber Patitucci shows off a new shipment of jewelry. The former educator turned businesswoman is celebrating one year of business. To commemorate the event, the store is featuring a birthday bash sale with items at half price.

Local Sports
07-31 12U state champs_2.tif

The Baldwin County 12U All-Stars are state champions.

Editorials
Columns
Letters
Local Weather Radar
Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
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
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Is Justin Bieber Dating a Model? Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) 'Sharknado 2:' Hottest Memes Surfing The Net Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up