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Man charged in fatal boat collision on Roxboro lake

Posted June 1, 2010

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— Authorities have charged a 33-year-old man in a boat collision that killed a woman Sunday evening on the Mayo Reservoir in Roxboro.

Robert Franklin Gentry drove a ski boat into the back of a pontoon boat, killing the pontoon owner's wife, Tammy Duke, according to North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officials.

The ski boat went through the pontoon and struck Duke and knocked her into the water just before 10 p.m.

Boat Fatal boating collision remains under investigation

Duke was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital. Investigators said they don't know if she died from the impact or from drowning. Her body was sent to the medical examiner's office.

"She was a caring person. She loved life," family friend Billy Lea said Tuesday. "I know I loved her, and everybody else did."

Gentry left the scene and turned himself in to authorities about four hours later, according to Sgt. Bill Taylor of the Wildlife Resources Commission. He submitted to an alcohol test, but authorities would not reveal the results.

He was charged with boating while impaired, careless and reckless boat operation resulting in the death of a person and failure to render assistance and submit identification at a boat accident. Wildlife officers continue to investigate the case.

Gentry posted $25,000 bond Monday. His next court date is July 27.

A man who was on Gentry's boat disputed the four-hour delay in Gentry's surrender, saying Tuesday that Gentry contacted authorities upon returning to shore, which was about an hour after the collision.

The man, who declined to provide his name, said Gentry's boat had a hole in it, and he was trying to get to shore as fast as possible to avoid sinking. The pontoon boat didn't have any lights on, so Gentry didn't see it, the man said.

Eric Justason, who lives nearby, said Monday that the pontoon boat was illuminated. After hearing the collision, he and a friend joined in the search for Duke.

"It didn't take us long," Justason said. "Maybe another 30 seconds of searching (and) we found (the boat owner's) wife in the water."

Lea said Duke was active in Moose Lodge in Roxboro, especially its activities for families and children.

"It's difficult. It's a shock. She will be missed, very much so missed," he said.

Acting Person County District Attorney Jim Long said he will wait for the wildlife officers to file their written report before deciding on whether to pursue additional charges against Gentry.


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  • preppyones Jun 3, 2010

    We miss you and love you Tammy and we love you Robbie! Tammy we know you are in heaven looking over us and we will see you again one day in heaven. We pray that God will be w/the Gentry family,the Duke family and the Vicks family during this time. I also pray that nobody on this post faces what these friends have had to face. Us here on earth are not to judge,as it saids so in the bible,however we all live our lives differently. God has the final judgement on our lives. I don't care about any more of your post that are negative. I myself will stand behind and help each and every one of the ppl involved to cope with this tragic incident.

  • kcarr712 Jun 2, 2010

    Did I never not one time admit to that...Really maybe you should learn to comprehend what you read instead of what you just want to comment about. Have a nice night

  • wildcat Jun 2, 2010

    Again so you can understand I was referring how the News when they tell stories makes the person look like a criminal all their life

    This man was drinking alcohol to the access. What is it that you don't get? He was charged, get over it.

  • wildcat Jun 2, 2010

    I am glad he was charged. May other boat drives learn from this.

  • kcarr712 Jun 2, 2010

    Comments left like the one below show's that someone just wants confrontation or too leave hateful comments...info101 through all of these msgs and feelings left for the people involved. Some of us know everyone and actually have feelings who gets hurt or charactarized.

  • lovingmygirls Jun 2, 2010

    No more comments from preppyones?

  • kcarr712 Jun 2, 2010

    Some of you come out of the blue and really amaze me.I used to be a member of the Moose lodge and didn't say she was there for your smart comments. We were talking about the interview. Really I don't get how you just come out to be so sarcastic about something. The whole time I have been saying it's terrible for everyone involved on both sides, so I really don't need a repeat of your comment saying the same thing. And as for the Moose Lodge maybe people should know a little more about the place, I'm not biast cause I used to drink out there as well but I'm also not blind to act like it doesn't. Earlier everyone was making it so about drinking and drinking...For the last time We all know everyone was drinking, yeah everyone knows it's wrong,yeah everyone still does it.So move past the pointing blame or scarcasm and think how it affects every one of them. Again so you can understand I was referring how the News when they tell stories makes the person look like a criminal all their life

  • kcarr712 Jun 2, 2010

    No one said it made him a saint, No one is perfect atleast I know I'm not and I don't claim to be. I said atleast he did turn himself him unlike some people who have been involved in hit and runs so called. I wish to God this would have never happened to anyone, or ever happen again. Maybe it will make everyone think twice before going out on the lake drinking. Because he wasn't the only one drinking, just about everyone out there on the lake that day and weekend were drinking, including people on the other boat. Does it make it right NO not by any means at all. And yeah you're right it's hurting Robbie what has happened. IT's all in the lords hands and the best thing everyone can do it pray for all of them, and to only hope everyone has enough strength to cope through it all. But people calling him a jerk, a waste of air, so on and so on yeah I am gonna stand up for him against some people. And my heart truly feels bad for the Duke family....They were also good people as well.

  • mgregory Jun 2, 2010

    kcarr: What does this accident have anything to do with the Roxboro Moose Lodge? Was she at a Moose function? Did the Moose own the boat? She was on her husband's personal boat with her friends. When you are a member of the Moose, you have your Moose Family and then you have your own personal family. Just like at work. You have a work family and then your own family. This accident, was just that, an accident caused by a gentlemen who was not paying attention of what he was doing, and was very reckless. He was not thinking of any consequences for his actions. I knew Tammy for over 4 years, her family is in my thoughts and prayers. Even Rob, who I went to school with, his family is in my prayers as well.

  • liltarheelmommy Jun 2, 2010

    I do feel bad for BOTH families and I know the guilt is eating away at him for what happened. But I'm sorry, turning himself in doesn't make him a Saint! People are missing the point that HE DID NOT STOP!!!! And not only should he be charged, but what about anybody that was in the boat with him???? They are just as guilty!!!!!