North Carolina father killed after being struck by wave at beach

(Photo via GoFundMe)

OAK ISLAND, N.C. (WTHR) – A father of six has died after being struck by a wave on a North Carolina beach.

Lee Dingle was playing with three of his kids on the beach when an intense wave hit him, slamming his head into the sand causing him to break his neck.

"Some heroes - including our kids - tried to save him, but it wouldn’t have mattered what they did," Lee's wife Shannon wrote on Twitter. "His body couldn’t recover from the initial injury."

The force of the impact broke his neck and made his throat swell so much that his brain was deprived of oxygen for too long to recover.

Oak Island Water Rescue said on Facebook that it and other agencies provided emergency care to Dingle within minutes of the accident. He died a day later despite efforts to save him.

Dingle was the president of Atlas Engineering in Raleigh, North Carolina, a company that specializes in solving structural problems and repairing other damage at buildings, its website says. Atlas Engineering senior partner Tom Caldwell said Dingle had been promoted to president just two weeks before his death, WSLS reports.

"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," Shannon wrote on Twitter.

The couple were raising six children, including four who were adopted. One of their children is disable.

Friends of the family have created a GoFundMe account to help cover funeral expenses and bills. So far, it has raised $112,380 of its $100,000 goal.

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