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Body of pregnant woman, 35, found three weeks after tragic North Carolina tubing accident


The body of 35-year-old Teresa Villano was found on Monday, making her the final victim to be recovered from the June 16 tubing accident

Authorities have recovered the body of the final missing tuber three weeks after a tragic accident in a North Carolina that left five people dead. 

The body of 35-year-old Teresa Villano was found at 4pm on Monday near the Draper Boat Landing, in North Carolina.

Villano was 24 weeks pregnant at the time of the accident on June 16.

The mother-to-be is the final victim to be recovered from the tragic tubing accident in the Dan River in Rockingham County, the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.  

In mid-June Villano and her family went tubing with family visiting from La Porte, Indiana.

At around 7.30pm on June 16, just before dark, their tubes went over the 8ft high Duke Energy dam in Eden, Fox 8 News reported.  

Ruben Villano, 35, Teresa’s twin brother, his son Eric Villano, 14, his daughter Irene Villano, 18, and Ruben’s nephew Karlos Villano, 14, who was visiting from La Porte, were rescued the day after the accident when a Duke Energy worker spotted some of the victims clinging to their tubes in the churning current at the base of the dam and called 911.

Sophie Wilson, 14

Isiah Crawford, 7

Authorities recovered the body of Sophie Wilson, 14, and then the body of seven year old Isiah Crawford on June 27 

Bridish Crawford, 27

Antonio Ramon, 30,

Authorities recovered the bodies of Bridish Crawford, 27, Antonio Ramon, 30 following a tragic tubing accident in North Carolina 

The survivors spent some 19 hours in the water before they were rescued.  . 

Authorities recovered the bodies of Bridish Crawford, 27, Antonio Ramon, 30, and Sophie Wilson, 14, who was also visiting from La Porte, later that day. 

The body of Bridish’s son, seven-year-old Isiah Crawford, was discovered on June 20, leaving Teresa, who is Reuben’s sister, to be the final family member to be found. 

The group got into trouble when their three round inflatable rafts, which had been lashed together, came untied. Each person was floating on their own tube when they went over the dam.

Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates said there are signs on the river that warn about the dam downstream.

‘People usually get out before the dam,’ Cates said. 

35-year-old Teresa Villano's body was discovered on July 5, three weeks after a deadly tubing accident

The body of Teresa Villano, 35, (pictured) was recovered by Rockingham County Emergency Services personnel and Swift Water Rescue Teams near the Draper Boat Landing on Monday

35-year-old Teresa Villano’s body was discovered on July 5, three weeks after a deadly tubing accident

Villano posted she was half way through her pregnancy on Facebook shortly before the accident

Villano posted she was half way through her pregnancy on Facebook shortly before the accident 

The mother of the 14-year-old Karlos, who survived, told WGHP he was tired after being pulled from the water more than 20 hours into the harrowing ordeal.

The woman said her son was physically fine but mentally distraught. He was released from the hospital on Thursday night.

Karlos was visiting his aunt and uncle when the accident happened at around 7.30pm Wednesday.

The 14-year-old was said to have tried to get to his other family members to help them, but could not do it. 

Rescue personnel at the Dan River in Eden, N.C helped with recovering the bodies of five tubers

Rescue personnel at the Dan River in Eden, N.C helped with recovering the bodies of five tubers

In mid-June Villano and her family went tubing with family visiting from La Porte, Indiana at around 7:30 p.m. just before dark when the tubes went over Duke Energy dam in Eden

In mid-June Villano and her family went tubing with family visiting from La Porte, Indiana at around 7:30 p.m. just before dark when the tubes went over Duke Energy dam in Eden

Glenn Bozorth, who operated a water sports business on the Dan River for 25 years, told Greensboro News and Record that people often underestimate the force of the current at the base of dams.

‘When the water goes over the dam, it creates a circular motion that pulls you under,’ he said, ‘it sucks you under and once you’re drowned, you float downstream and get hung up somewhere or hung up under water.’

Cates said that debris and rocks in the river can puncture tubes or rafts, so it’s important for people to wear life preservers. He said it wasn’t clear if any of the nine were using life preservers.

‘The current of the river makes it very hard to navigate, even for the most experienced swimmers. So we strongly encourage people to wear some type of personal floatation device in addition to the tube they’re in,’ he said.

It is unclear at this time why the family of nine did not get out of their tubes before they reached the dam. 



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