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Fatal boating accident still under probe; no alcohol involved

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From staff reports

Friday, April 21, 2017

A fatal collision between two bass boats on the Little River on April 9 did not involve alcohol or other impairing substances, according to N.C. Wildlife Law Enforcement.

Franklin D. Forbes, 53, of Elizabeth City, was killed in the collision, which occurred near the mouth of Halls Creek around 12:10 p.m., according to N.C. Wildlife Enforcement Office John Beardsley.

Beardsley said few details are available right now because the specific events that led to the collision are still being investigated.

The investigation includes the collection of GPS information and other digital data from the two boats in an effort to substantiate witness accounts, Beardsley said.

"At this time we are unable to say with 100 percent confidence what exactly led up to the collision taking place," Beardsley said. "Once our investigation is complete we will submit the information to the District Attorney's Office and they will be making the determination if any criminal charges are warranted."

Beardsley added that names of the boat operators are not being released right now.

The boats involved in the collision were an 18-foot 2017 Tracker Bass Boat and a 20-foot 1992 Gambler Bass Boat.

Beardsley said one boat was traveling south down the river and the other north up the river when they collided.

In addition to Beardsley, N.C. Wildlife Officers Brandon Wilkins and Tyler Wood responded to the accident scene. The officers will continue to investigate the cause of the accident.

The Pasquotank Sheriff's Office, Pasquotank Emergency Medical Service, and local fire departments also responded and assisted in the incident.

N.C. Wildlife Law Enforcement asks that anyone who has information about this collision or a similar matter call 800-662-7137 or contact Beardsley directly at (252) 558-6654.

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