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Posted: June 2, 2010 12:30 a.m.

Man drowns in Factory Shoals

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In the last 12 months, three people have lost their lives in the water near Factory Shoals.

A 59-year-old man drowned in Factory Shoals late Saturday afternoon, after leaving his home off Ga. Highway 36 around 4 p.m. that day.

Henry Thomas Terrell was reported missing by family around 8 p.m. Saturday, and while speaking with the family, deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office learned that Terrell would occasionally go to Factory Shoals Park. When authorities arrived at the park, they found Terrell’s truck parked there and, after a short walk, found articles of his clothing closer to the shoals.

Members of the Newton County Dive Team converged on the shoals early Sunday morning and by mid-morning had located Terrell’s body in the water. According to NCSO 1st Lt. Mark Mitchell, the investigation into Terrell’s death is ongoing.

"The shoals run pretty fast," he said. "And the undercurrent there is very strong."

Last year 35-year-old Marie Elaina Carley died when she fell into the water in April and in July, 18-year-old Dakota A. Spruill was found dead after jumping into the water.

The Shoals is filled with rocks and fallen trees that sit just below the surface of the water, proving deadly to swimmers. Several signs are posted around the water, telling visitors that if they choose to swim, it is at their own risk and the county is not responsible.

Terrell was the only death over the holiday weekend. Although the Georgia State Patrol cites four deaths in the state, none were in Newton County.

According to NCSO Corporal Anthony Washington there were just a few local traffic incidents over the holiday weekend, including one DUI, one crash with injuries and one loss of control.

"It was a mild holiday weekend," he said.

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