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Fort Mill art teacher dies in fall from Lake Wylie dock

Observer Staff Reports

The Fort Mill school system is dealing with the death of a staff member for the second time in six weeks.

And it is the third death of a York County school employee in a water-related incident this summer.

The latest fatality claimed the life of Gold Hill Elementary School art teacher Rebecca New, who died early Sunday when she slipped and fell on a dock at Lake Wylie in southwest Mecklenburg County.

New, 31, had been out with friends when she fell from steps on a dock in the 16000 block of Here At Last Lane about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, according to Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. She died of injuries suffered when she landed on a metal pipe below the dock.

On July 3, Orchard Park Elementary School administrator Maryanne Galway, 56, of Waxhaw, died after being caught in a rip current at Sunset Beach in Brunswick County. Hers was among several deaths related to rip currents over the July 4 holiday along the Carolinas coast.

And on Aug. 3, teacher Heather Dobbins drowned while rafting on the Saluda River in Pickens County, S.C. Dobbins, 37, taught English as a Second Language at Richmond Drive Elementary School in the Rock Hill system.

Fort Mill Schools Superintendent Chuck Epps issued a statement about New’s death, saying “she was a beloved teacher at GHES (Gold Hill Elementary School) and will be missed by students, teachers, parents and the entire FMSD (Fort Mill School District) family.”

Funeral services have not been announced for New.

Fort Mill teachers return to work Wednesday, with classes resuming Aug. 21.

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