Man's Drowning Leaves New Bride Widowed

Just one day after getting married, an East Texas woman is widowed. Her husband drowned on Lake Jacksonville. It happened around 3:00 P.M. on the east side of the lake just off the shore at the main recreation area.  Eddy Grimes, 32, of Rusk was playing on the lake with his three step children when he got caught up in hydrilla.

Just yesterday Kathy Boots watched her daughter walk down the aisle with Eddy Grimes.  "Eddie is one of the most wonderful people I've ever known. He and my daughter, Jennifer, I've never seen her so happy as when she's with him or even talking about him," said Boots.

Today, her daughter got the call every wife dreads.  "My daughter's cell phone rang, and it was Mercedes, the oldest little girl, screaming bloody murder, 'Mama! Mama! Eddie's drowned! Mama! Mama! Get out here!" said Boots.

Eddy had taken his three stepchildren to the lake for the day, while his new bride packed their things, getting ready to move into the home they just purchased.

Anita Burns says Eddy was going after one of the kids floaties when he got tangled up in a bunch of hydrilla and started hollering for help.

"One of the guys that was with us, he grabbed the raft from one of the kids and started to go save him. He turned around and hollered, 'Help! Help!' He was going to get him. I hollered at the banks, 'Call 911!'"

By the time rescue crews arrived, Eddy had gone under. Dive teams searched for three hours  fighting the same hydrilla that the victim got caught in.

"It's tough to go through, because that stuff gets on you. It gets wrapped around your tank, around your equipment. You have to stop and pull it off, because it becomes a safety hazard to the rescue," said Jacksonville Fire Marshal Brent Smith.

Eddy's family waited on the shore the entire time hoping for a miracle, but they didn't get one. At 7:00 o'clock, rescue crews recovered Eddy's body.

Lindsay Wilcox, reporting.