A man and woman lost their lives Monday in a baffling incident at the Floating Mill Park boat ramp on Center Hill Lake in DeKalb County.
Emergency crews responding to the report shortly before 3 p.m. found the bodies of Lendon Welch, 84, and Charlotte Welch, 83, of Knoxville floating in the water in the vicinity of a submerged white pickup and a boat still attached to the trailer.
“The vehicle was in approximately seven feet of water,” said Dustin Johnson, captain of the Smithville-DeKalb Rescue Squad. “I was diving to make sure there was no one still in the vehicle.”
The bodies were recovered and taken by ambulance to Saint Thomas DeKalb Hospital by DeKalb EMS.
The driver’s window on the pickup was open, but the passenger window was closed when the truck was pulled from the lake. Whether the couple was trying to load or unload the boat at the time of the incident is not known and there are no reported witnesses to the tragedy.
The medical examiner was called to the scene along with officials from TWRA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department, DeKalb County Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Team, and the Tennessee Highway Patrol.