The Vermont State Police is investigating the deaths of two individuals whose bodies were found in Lewis Creek in Charlotte on Monday afternoon, April 19. The victims are identified as 70-year-old Martha Illick and her husband 71-year-old Terrence Dinnan, both of whom resided on Lewis Creek Road in Charlotte.
The bodies were discovered around 12:30 p.m. in the creek near Spear Street and Lewis Creek Road.
Police received a call at about 12:30 p.m. Monday from several men who were fishing along Lewis Creek in Charlotte near the covered bridge off Spear Street. They fishermen reported they had discovered two bodies in the water. First responders including the Vermont State Police, Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue Services, and the Ferrisburgh Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene and confirmed that two adults were deceased in the water near Lewis Creek Road upstream from the bridge. 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.
Through investigation, the state police learned that the grandparents and their grandson were on a planned outing on a small boat on Lewis Creek when 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.
According to a news report in today’s Charlotte Bridge, Illick was executive director of the Lewis Creek Watershed Association. She was also a member of Charlotte’s Planning Commission. Dinnan was a part-owner of an Essex NY quarry. Part of the proceeds of the sale of that property helped establish the Essex Quarry Nature Park. “The couple was well known for their conservation and agricultural advocacy,” the Bridge said.
Photo: Martha Illick (second from right) with others from the Lewis Creek Association receives 2019 Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence for its stormwater management project.