Two Bertie County Cousins Die In Virginia Boating Accident

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Two Bertie County cousins are dead after their 14 foot boat capsized in Newport News, Virginia.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission says Phillip Smallwood, 52, and William Smallwood, 51, both originally from Windsor, were killed in Sunday's accident on the James River near the Monitor Merrimack Tunnel.

Authorities say three other people were rescued after the boat overturned. They were later released with minor injuries.

Marine Resources Commission spokeswoman Laurie Naismith says the 1975 Manatee boat was overloaded with five people on board, along with coolers. She says the boat was swamped after the engine failed.

Marine Police have impounded the boat, and are investigating the engine for any mechanical issues that contributed to the deadly accident.

Mary Smallwood says her son, Phillip, was the oldest of her ten children. The mother says one of her daughters got a phone call. "After she got off the phone she said: 'Mom, I've got something to tell you -- she said Philip is dead' And i couldn't take it -- and -- I lost him-- I just lost my only son and I love him," said a tearful Mary Smallwood.

Smallwood says her son could not swim, and as far as she knew this was the first time he had been out on the water.