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home : news : law enforcement March 5, 2021

1/7/2021 4:41:00 PM
Dive Team Assists In Gaston County Recovery From Pond
90-year-old Cherryville man identified as accident victim
Photos Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office
Photos Courtesy Lincoln County Sheriff's Office

Lincoln County Sheriff's
Office Press Release

LINCOLNTON, N.C. – The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team assisted Hughes Pond Fire Department recovering a vehicle and a body from a pond near the intersection of Mount Zion Church Road and Highway 274 in Gaston County.  The victim was identified as Gerald Clontz Parker, a 90-year-old Cherryville man.  According to the Highway Patrol, Parker attempted to turn left from Mt. Zion Church Road onto the Dallas-Cherryville Highway (NC 274) around 8:20 Wednesday evening.  He missed his turn and his 2019 Hyundai Sonata slid into the water.  It later floated to the center of the pond.

The Dive Team was dispatched at the request of Hughes Pond Fire Department reference a vehicle in a pond with an elderly man inside. When they arrived team members could see headlights from the vehicle underwater about 100 feet from shore.

Witnesses confirmed the elderly male driver crossed the road in front of them and went in the water. He did not surface from the vehicle and they attempted to rescue him. At 9:20 p.m. divers, 1st Sgt. S. Pippen and Detective M. Lookadoo, entered the water and located the vehicle. Both front windows on the vehicle were down and the victim was found in the back seat.

The North Carolina Highway Patrol arrived on the scene and instructed the divers to assist in removing the vehicle from the water. Divers attached cables to the wheels and wreckers pulled the car to shore. The vehicle and the scene were turned over to the Highway Patrol to continue their investigation.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team members responding to the call were Trent Carpenter, Darren Ledford, Spencer Carpenter, Shannon Pippen, Michael Lookadoo, David Hendrix, Matt Smith and Phil McNeil.

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