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Body recovered six days after boating collision


     A body identified as Garrett Smith was recovered in the Waccamaw River near Pireway Saturday morning, a week after a head-on boat collision that claimed the lives of two women.

     Smith’s body was recovered “very near to where the incident took place” at about 11 a.m. Saturday said Sgt. Kyle vanAlthuis, a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission supervisor.

     A pathologist will determine if an autopsy is to be conducted, vanAlthuis said.

     Smith was one of four passengers in a 15-foot Dixie boat operated by Travis Reed Suggs, 25, of Tabor City. Megan Allison Lynn, 21, of Whiteville and Jennifer Elizabeth Hayes, 37, of Chadbourn, both died on the scene of the late afternoon March 29 incident a short distance south of the state boat landing.

     Also on the boat was Sugg’s sister, Anna Suggs. Neither of the siblings suffered serious injuries.

     Matthew Edward Ferster, 33, of Shallotte was operating a 18.5 foot Skeeter boat, heading downriver, with a male passenger when the incident took place. Neither man was injured, vanAlthuis said.

     Both Suggs and Ferster were charged with boating while impaired, and released from the Brunswick County Detention Center after posting bonds of $10,000 and $2,000 respectively.

     An investigation into the incident is ongoing and complex, vanAlthuis said, with no significant developments by Saturday.

     Look for updates on this story here as events warrant and in the next Tabor-Loris Tribune in print and online.