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Child survives boating accident that killed grandparents

Published: Apr. 19, 2021 at 1:41 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 9:36 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WCAX) - A Vermont couple is dead but their grandson is safe after a boating accident in a creek in Charlotte.

Some fishermen spotted two bodies in Lewis Creek not far from Spear Street at about 12:30 p.m. Monday and alerted the police.

When first responders arrived at the scene, they learned the couple’s 3.5-year-old grandson was missing and immediately launched a search.

About an hour later, crews found the child safe inside a vehicle at the nearby home of his grandparents.

Vermont State Police said the grandparents, Martha Illick, 70, and Terrence Dinnan, 71, who live on Lewis Creek Road, had planned a small canoe trip up Lewis Creek with the boy on Monday.

“At some point, the kayak or canoe overturned and we don’t have any knowledge exactly what happened. But the child was wet. We suspect they ended up into the river,” Vt. State Police Capt. Matt Daley said.

The little boy was wearing a life vest but the adults were not. Police say the child made it to shore and went to his grandparents’ home. They say he was reunited with his parents at the scene.

Rescue crews recovered the bodies of Illick and Dinnan a short distance from their capsized boat. Their bodies were sent for autopsy.

Police are still investigating the accident.

A neighbor said she is surprised people have been on the water. It’s very low for this time of year.

Police said they did not know of any other accidents on the creek in recent years.

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