Father of 6 dies after ocean wave breaks his neck in 'freak accident'

father of six died after an accident on July 18, in which a wave crashed into him at a North Carolina beach. The man, Lee Dingle, was hit with such force that his head was slammed onto the sand, breaking his neck. According to his wife, Shannon Dingle, the "freak accident" made his throat swell, depriving his brain of oxygen. He passed away the following day.

Shannon said that the accident, which occurred while Lee was playing with three of his children in the ocean during the family's trip to Oak Island, took away "my partner, my love, and my home."

"Some heroes — including our kids — tried to save him, but it wouldn’t have mattered what they did," Shannon, a Christian writer and activist, wrote in a Facebook post. "His body couldn’t recover from the initial injury."

Lee, president of Atlas Engineering in Raleigh, was only 37.

The couple met when Shannon was 18 and Lee was 19, and she says that had "been together ever since." Together, they have six children, including four from adoption.

“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,” April Schweitzer, a friend of the Dingles, told WRAL.

The family has received an outpouring of support from friends, family and strangers online. A GoFundMe, set up by a friend to help support Shannon and her children, has surpassed its goal of $200,000 in two days.

"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. "Please pray for us. And, you know, feel free to cuss and smash stuff because God knows I’ll be doing some of that."

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