Pitt County Man Dies After Boats Collide In The Tar River

A Pitt County man is dead after a boating accident in the Tar River east of Seine Beach and Grimesland Bridge Road.

It happened around 4:30pm on Saturday. North Carolina Wild Life Officer Milton Jones tells WITN that Leon Hooks Simpkins Jr., of South Grimesland Bridge Road, died when his boat collided with a larger vessel.

Lawmen say Simpkins was on an 18 foot Allison boat while the man that collided with his boat was on a 21 foot Checkmate boat.

The two boats smashed together and Simpkins was killed. Officials say the man on the Checkmate boat was taken to the Pitt County Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.

Jones tells WITN the case is still under investigation and he has not determined what caused the accident.

At this time it's unclear if any charges will be filed against the driver of the Checkmate.

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  • by another cousin on Jan 21, 2010 at 06:45 PM
    Hooky was the coolest cousin. He was so kind to me and I love him dearly. My prayers are with Becky, Uncle Leon, Aunt Dot, Herbie, and Jessica. I love you all so much.
  • by Cousin on Jan 21, 2010 at 03:07 PM
    Hooky was the oldest/coolest cousin in the whole Simpkins Clan.He had the car,the looks,and listened to the coolest music.We are all so sorry for your loss Becky,Uncle Leon,Aunt Dorothy,Herbie,Jessica and the entire family.Not to mention the numerous people that were blessed to be a part of Hooky's life.We all love you and will miss you,but your memory will live in our hearts forever.I never had a chance to thank you,but I appreciate you and Becky trying to bring everyone in the family together at least once a year.Heaven is a better place for having you in it.I only hope that God help's me become half the man that you became.With peace and love,your cousin.
  • by Becky Simpkins Location: Grimesland on Jan 21, 2010 at 06:57 AM
    I would like to thank everyone for the outpour of love that has been shown toward my husband. He was my heart and soul and always will be. He loved all of his river buddies and would not want them to suffer because of this. He loved everyone and had a great love for God, and one day I will see him in heaven. I love you Hooky, forever.
  • by Suzanne on Jan 21, 2010 at 05:24 AM
    Hooky was my first nephew. I was 14 the day I became an uncle. I enjoyed so much to watch him grow to become the man he was. I am so to proud to be his uncle. You will always be missed. LOVE UNCLE GEORGE
  • by Suzanne Location: aunt melba on Jan 21, 2010 at 05:20 AM
    I loved Hooky since the day I met him. He always made me laugh. I will love him for eternity, and I will see him again. LOVE AUNT MELBA
  • by louann Location: washington on Jan 20, 2010 at 06:25 PM
    Becky sorry for your lost things will get better will keep you in my prayers
  • by Paul Ryan Location: Tullahoma, TN on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:13 PM
    As teenagers, I grew up with Hooky and Herbie in Rosedale. Man, ever other word out of Hook's mouth was something funny. For a family that loves the water so much, they have suffered to much. You will never be forgot!!!
  • by James McGahey Location: Washington on Jan 19, 2010 at 05:25 PM
    Hooky was a unique guy. I remember us going to the mountains back in '96, him on his BMW pulling a homemade trailer and me on my Honda sportbike. We stayed at a campground that was full of Harley riders and there we were sticking out like sore thumbs but thanks to Hooky, we fit right in. Met some cool people and had a great time. I have a photo of him on his bike on the interstate smoking a cigarette and drinking a Mountain Dew. He was a smart, insightful and well-coordinated man. I regret not spending more time with him.
  • by Evan Location: Tarboro on Jan 19, 2010 at 04:34 PM
    Leon will never be replaced as a professional, or as a person, I have had the oppourtunity to work alongside of him at two of the different machine shops I have worked with in the past 5 years. He was the best machining resource/ CNC Technician that I have ever seen. I never saw him without a smile on his face. He was "Haas", in eastern NC. I'm gonna miss seeing him around the shop, gonna miss cutting up and swapping jokes with him, hope he is "making chips" in heaven,I hope God needed a good machinist, cause he got the best... My deepest regards to all the family and friends effected by this tradgedy, I have never met another person like Leon, and problay never will.............
  • by Anonymous on Jan 19, 2010 at 04:00 PM
    I know this was a trajic accident and Barry has a heavy burden, but who were driving the other two boats and how are they fairing? Let's not forget anyone involved could have internal pain/grief and may need assistance in coping. Everyone that knows Barry should reasure this young man so he does not internalize his greif of responsibility.

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