A 52 year old Nacogdoches man drowned Saturday afternoon in a boating accident on Lake Scroggins which is located a few miles northeast of Chireno. The Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office(NCSO) along with the Texas Parks and Wildlife responded to the call around 6:30 p.m.

The call came into dispatch after an 18-year-old motorist who was driving near the lake could hear a women screaming for help. The citizen could see a small boat in the lake that was unoccupied and he drove down to the lake to further investigate. He could then hear a women screaming that was out in the lake about 200 yards from the bank. He swam to the boat that was circling in the middle of the lake, due to the trolling motor that was still activated, and then climbed into the boat. He then used the boat to get to the female that was found tied to a stump in the lake. The female was rescued and taken back to shore where authorities were then notified.

During the investigation it was learned that Pernell Tutt and his mother Cora Tutt had gone fishing on Saturday afternoon on Lake Scroggins.  During the fishing trip, the flat bottom boat hit a stump in the lake and Cora Tutt fell out of the boat. Pernell Tutt jumped in the lake to rescue his mother and was able to swim his mother to a stump. Once at the stump, Pernell tied his mother’s hands to the stump to keep her from drowning. Pernell then attempted to swim back to the boat but was seen going under the water and did not resurface.

Texas Parks and Wildlife along with fire departments started a search of the lake but were unable to locate Pernell Tutt. The recovery effort continued Sunday morning and Pernell Tutt was found in the lake around 10 a.m.  Justice of the Peace Dorothy Tigner Thompson was called to the scene and pronounced Tutt deceased. An autopsy has been ordered.

This is a very sad and tragic event, and there is no doubt that Pernell’s last actions along with that of the 18 year old passerby, helped saved the life of Cora Tutt. Cora was transported to a local hospital where she was listed in stable condition.

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