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Charlotte man drowns while tubing

A 46-year-old Charlotte man drowned Tuesday afternoon while tubing in the Broad River in Cherokee County.

Timothy Pendleton fell off his inner tube into 8 feet of water at a popular boat launch point north of Blacksburg, S.C., according to the Cherokee County Coroner’s Office.

He’s the second person from the Charlotte-area to drown in an inner tube accident in the past week.

Pendleton, who lived on Montvale Court in southeast Charlotte, worked odd jobs around the city. He was visiting family in Cherokee County on Tuesday and among a group of six people at the Pick Hill access point, his brother-in-law, David McCraw, said.

Pendleton was relaxing in his inner tube off the dock when the tube flipped out from under him and started floating downstream, McCraw said.

A decent swimmer, according to family members, Pendleton swam after the tube. He then suddenly went under.

“He never came back up,” McCraw said.

McCraw and two others swam to his aid, but Pendleton’s body was hard to find in the muddy water, McCraw said.

After four or five minutes, the group bumped into Pendleton’s body on the bottom of the river. They dragged him to shore, but could not resuscitate him.

The coroner’s office pronounced him dead at the scene.

Though the water level is up from the summer’s heavy rains, according to Cherokee County authorities, McCraw said the river was calm Tuesday and he didn’t think the high water played a role in his brother-in-law’s death.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said he plans to perform an autopsy Wednesday to see if the victim had any prior medical conditions that could have impaired him underwater.

“He was alive when he went under because there was water in his lungs,” Fowler said.

Pendleton’s death was the second drowning in Cherokee County this year, Fowler said. In May, a man drowned in Lake Whelchel near Gaffney, S.C.

On Saturday, Heather Dobbins, 37, of Rock Hill, died after a tubing accident on the Saluda River in Pickens County near Easley.

Dobbins, an elementary school teacher, had been tubing with her husband and two other people. (Rock Hill) Herald contributed.

Burley: 704-358-5085
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