Boater charged in fatal North Carolina crash

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The boat operator in one of the worst accidents of the early season — which claimed the lives of a pregnant mother and her child — was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Michael Lynn Greene, 52, of McLeansville, N.C., was arrested Monday and given a $50,000 secured bond with a court date set for July 8.

Greene was at the helm of a powerboat that struck a pontoon boat May 25 on Swearing Creek, a narrow cove on High Rock Lake in central North Carolina. The pontoon boat was reportedly traveling downstream at a slow speed with three adults and one child aboard. The powerboat was traveling upstream at a speed in excess of 25 mph prior to the head-on impact, according to District Attorney Garry Frank of Davidson County.

“We do not think alcohol was a factor in the incident,” Frank is quoted in a report by The Lexington Dispatch. There is no posted speed limit for the lake.

Neither Greene nor his three passengers, all juveniles, including his daughter, were injured.

Melissa Chambers Britt, 32, who was three months pregnant, and her son, William Jaiden Britt, 3, died in the accident, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, which is investigating the accident.

Click here for a report by the Winston-Salem Journal and WGHP 8 News.

The issue of adding a speed limit or no-wake zone on Swearing Creek was being debated by local residents and officials even before the accident.

“If you just go through it, common sense tells you that people just need to slow down,” resident Danny Dagenhart told town officials, according to a report by The Lexington Dispatch. “It’s an emotional thing and, for me, it’s a situation where we can’t enjoy the lake.”


One comment on “Boater charged in fatal North Carolina crash

  1. Barbara J. Nolan

    For some reason Common Sense never seems to prevail in many such heart rending accidents. But what does exist, is that there are many well informed and taught courses by knowledgeable marine safety organizations. COAST GUARD AUXILLIARY & POWER SQUARDEN .

    Their are rules and regulations that govern waterways depending if it was a sole state waterway or a federal navigable waterway.
    Unfortunately, this is probably going to be sorted out in a court system.

    Speed limits want help but a well marked buoy system and the understanding of that system will help.
    But you can’t beat paying attentention and being aware of your surroundings and know that boats do not have brakes!!

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