Lee Dingle was enjoying a beach day with his family when a “freak accident” took his life.
On July 19, Dingle’s wife, Shannon took to Twitter to explain what happened.
My partner, my love, and my home died today after a freak accident. Lee was playing on the beach with three of our kids yesterday, and an intense wave hit him just right to slam his head into the sand and break his neck.
Shannon then continued saying some of their children even tried to help save their father:
Some heroes – including our kids – tried to save him, but it wouldn’t have mattered what they did. His body couldn’t recover from the initial injury.
We met when I was 18 and he was 19, and we’ve been together ever since. I wasn’t supposed to be saying goodbye at 37. I don’t know how to be a grown up without him, but I’ll learn. I just wish I didn’t have to.
According to a fundraiser, after the wave broke Dingle’s neck, the father’s “throat [swelled] so much his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long to recover.”
A family friend, April Schweitzer, told WRAL that the events that transpired that day were “totally unexpected.”
Schweitzer called Dingle a “model husband and father”:
“I think anyone who knew Lee was just a better person for having known him and for having that example of kindness and love and generosity in our lives.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in his honor in order to raise money for the wife and six children he left behind.
Shannon later asked for prayers for her and her children:
Please pray for us. And feel free cuss and smash stuff because God knows I’ll be doing some of that. (And breathing and hydrating and eating and all those self care things because I am worth it and because I have 6 little people to parent.)
So far over $150,000 has been raised to help the family pay for funeral expenses and get themselves back on their feet.