Charlotte couple dies in boating accident

Charlotte couple dies in Lewis Creek accident

Chea Waters Evans

A boating accident in Lewis Creek in Charlotte today took the lives of two residents, Martha Illick and Terrence Dinnan. Martha, who was known as Marty, was 70 years old, and her husband, who went by Terry, was 71. They lived on Lewis Creek Road.

According to a press release from Vermont State Police, on Monday, April 19 at 7:05 p.m., Illick and Dinnan set out in a boat on Lewis Creek around midday on Monday with their 3.5-year-old grandson. Police said that “for unknown reasons the boat capsized, sending all three occupants into the water. The child was wearing a life vest, while the adults were not. The child was able to make it to shore and then returned on his own to the vehicle outside the house. He was reunited with his parents at the scene.”

Several unidentified men were fishing in Lewis Creek at the Quinlan Bridge off Spear Street when they discovered the bodies in the water and called state police at approximately 12:30 p.m. Along with VSP, Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services and the Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department responded to Lewis Creek Road, upstream from the covered bridge.

Upon arrival, VSP noted, “Investigators also learned that a young child was missing. Rescue crews immediately launched a search for the boy, who is 3 ½ years old. After an extensive search of more than an hour, first responders located the child safe inside a vehicle at the nearby home of his grandparents.” 

Illick was the executive director of the Lewis Creek Watershed Association and a member of Charlotte’s Planning Commission. Dinnan was a partner in a quarry in Essex, N.Y., and last year donated a significant portion of the sales of that property to create The Essex Quarry Nature Park. The couple was well known for their conservation and agricultural advocacy.