Coroner: Man fell into S Carolina lake, died of broken neck

September 24, 2018

SENECA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a South Carolina man who fell off a boat broke his neck when he fell into the lake and died.

Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis told news outlets Sunday that 71-year-old Thomas Larry Payne was exiting onto the dock Sept. 20, following a boat ride with his wife. The Seneca resident was found near the dock, and was taken to a hospital, where he died around 1 ½ hours after falling into Lake Keowee.

An autopsy performed Sunday found that Payne’s death was accidental, the result of a fractured neck.

In July, the coroner’s office said more than 30 people have died in the lake over the past 25 years, with more than half at a popular area that has a rock outcropping for jumping in the lake.

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