Toddler survives canoe accident that killed grandparents

Vermont News

CHARLOTTE, Vt. (WFFF) — Two people on a canoe outing were found dead in Vermont’s Lewis Creek, though their 3-grandson survived when the vessel tipped over.

The victims are identified as Martha Illick, 70, and Terrence Dinnan, 71. Police say the young boy, who was wearing a life jacket, made it safely to shore.

Captain Matt Daley with Vermont State Police said fishermen found two bodies in the creek near Spear Street and Lewis Creek Road in Charlotte at about 12:30 p.m.

“It’s not moving that fast, but there is a small dam up river so we don’t know if they got into some trouble and got into the current and the boat capsized at that point,” Captain Daley said. 

When crews found the bodies of the adults, they realized the small child was missing. “The fire crews had made a good distance down the river because we suspected that the current had taken the child down the river,” Daley said. 

Searchers from the Ferrisburgh and Charlotte fire departments found the child more than an hour later in a car at his grandparents’ home, where he was reunited with his parents.

“It was a planned trip,” Daley said. “They were supposed to take the canoe out for a small trip.”

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