Man dies in accident on Lake James

A man was killed when two personal watercraft collided Thursday night on Lake James.

Edward Muniz, 47, of Hendersonville, and Hsaing Tak Tong were riding Jet Ski-type vehicles on Lake James near Benfield’s Landing when the vessels collided at around 10 p.m., said Sgt. Phillip Tallent with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Tong, who was related to Muniz, was killed in the collision, Tallent said.

The collision still is under investigation, Tallent said. In North Carolina, it is illegal to operate personal watercraft after sunset.

Muniz was charged with felony death by impaired boating, Tallent said, with more charges pending the outcome of the investigation. His bond was set at $50,000 secured.

“Overall, [it’s] just a sad situation,” Tallent said.

Multiple agencies from Burke and McDowell counties responded to the call.

More information will be published as it becomes available.

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