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Hartselle Enquirer

Hartselle man drowns in Smith Lake

A Hartselle man in his early to mid 20s drowned in Smith Lake Wednesday night.

Authorities in Winston County recovered the body of Jerry Dustin Smith Thursday morning, according to a report from Huntsville TV station WAFF.

According to his great aunt, Mary Hand, Smith was apparently fishing when he fell out of the boat and drowned. She said the loss was shocking.

“Dusty just loved life,” Hand said. “He was a wonderful young man.”

Smith graduated high school locally and then joined the U.S. Army, where he was a heavy equipment operator. Smith reportedly served in Afghanistan but was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Hand said he received a medical discharge so he could undergo treatment. Smith is the son of Tamara Smith and the grandson of Jerry Smith and Bobbie Smith.

Winston, Cullman and Walker County Sheriff’s departments joined forces in the search.