CHOWAN COUNTY -- 2 people died and another person was hurt after they were thrown from a speed boat in a shallow part of the Yeopim River Friday.
"It weren't pretty. I mean, there's two dead bodies, a boat broke in four pieces. It's kind of horrific," said Justin Proctor, a fisherman who was out on the water at the time of the crash.
Proctor saw a friend of his standing on shore and thought that friend's boat had broken down. When he approached, he saw the boat that wrecked and the people who'd been on board.
"It's unexplained. I don't know how it even happened. As far as motor, and mechanics, and all that's concerned, it's not possible that they got that far in there unless they were running excess of 80 mile an hour to get that far in, that shallow, without bottoming out before they actually hit the tree," Proctor told 13News.
The United States Coast Guard said 911 dispatchers in Washington County, North Carolina, contacted North Carolina watchstanders at about 1:45 p.m. Friday to report a boating accident involving 3 people.
The watchstanders dispatched crews from Coast Guard Station Elizabeth City to assist.
Coast Guard members helped one injured boater from the shore and airlifted him to Albemarle Hospital.
"How it got there, I don't know. Something happened to the steering or something? I don't know," said "John," who was out in the water dropping crab pots when the Coast Guard rushed to help. He explained he did the same.
"We see somebody in trouble, whether we're fishing or crabbing, we stop and we go to 'em. That's what all the commercial fishermen and stuff do."
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is heading the investigation into what happened. The names of the boaters have not been released.