TIMELINE: Crews search for, do not find last missing tuber; search suspended; 7-year-old among 4 found dead after Dan River tubing accident

North Carolina News

35-year-old Teresa Villano, of Eden, is missing as of Monday evening.

Teresa Villano
Teresa Villano

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — One person is still missing after nine family members tubing on the Dan River went over a dam in Eden. Four people have been found dead. Four others were rescued.

On Wednesday, an Eden family went tubing with relatives visiting from La Porte, Indiana. The nine family members went tubing on the Dan River around 7:30 p.m., just before dark. At some point, the tubes went over a Duke Energy dam in Eden.

Four people were rescued, three of which were teenagers.

Those rescued were three members of the Eden family—35-year-old Rueben Villano, 14-year-old Eric Villano and 18-year-old Irene Villano—as well as 14-year-old Karlos Villano, of La Porte, Indiana.

Four bodies have been recovered from the river. The bodies recovered were those of Eden family members 7-year-old Isiah Crawford, 27-year-old Bridish Crawford and 30-year-old Antonio Ramon, as well as 14-year-old Sophia Wilson, of La Porte, Indiana.

Isiah Crawford’s body was found on Sunday after someone called 911 around 10:02 a.m. and reported seeing a body in the water.

35-year-old Teresa Villano, of Eden, is missing as of Monday evening.


Timeline

Wednesday 7:30 p.m.: Nine family members went tubing on the Dan River, just before dark. At some point, the tubes went over a Duke Energy dam in Eden.

Thursday 3 p.m.: A Duke Energy employee spotted four of the nine people at the bottom of the dam and called for rescue services. Those rescued included three Eden family members—35-year-old Rueben Villano, 14-year-old Eric Villano and 18-year-old Irene Villano—as well as 14-year-old Karlos Villano, of La Porte, Indiana. Five were still missing.

Thursday evening: Rockingham County first responders found three bodies before nightfall. The bodies were those of 27-year-old Bridish Crawford and 30-year-old Antonio Ramon, both of Eden, as well as 14-year-old Sophie Wilson, of LaPorte, Indiana.

Saturday 6:30 p.m.: Rockingham County Emergency Management suspends all search, rescue and recovery efforts after more than 30 hours of searching.

Sunday 10 a.m.: Crews find 7-year-old Isiah Crawford’s body near Draper Landing off of N.C. 700 after someone called 911 and reported seeing a body in the water.

Monday afternoon: RCEM resumes searching for 35-year-old Teresa Villano, of Eden.

Monday evening: A highway patrol helicopter was used to search for Teresa Villano for about two hours. She was not located. Crews have now suspended the search.


Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates says he believes the people on the tubes didn’t have a way to call for help, which caused the delay in rescue efforts.

The Duke Energy dam is about an eight foot drop, according to Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page.

Duke Energy reports that it is not a hydroelectric dam and does not have turbines. It’s a smaller impoundment dam.

Cates does not know if any of the victims were wearing life jackets, and they are working to find out if the tubes were rented or owned by the family.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the victims and families of this tragic incident,” Cates said. “We are very grateful for the men and women from the multiple jurisdictions and agencies who have invested many hours into this operation. We are also very grateful for the community support that we have received.”

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