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York man killed in body surfing accident at N.J. beach

Staff and wire report
LOGO medic

AVALON, N.J. — A York man has died after hitting his head while body surfing at a New Jersey beach.

The accident occurred around 6:20 p.m. Thursday in Avalon.

Witnesses told police the 73-year-old York, Pennsylvania, man was body surfing when a large wave caused his head to hit the ground beneath the water surface. He was pulled from the water and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Central York Middle School Fifes and Drums Facebook page posted a notice Friday that longtime band director Ken Matthews had died suddenly Thursday in Avalon, New Jersey.

"He was a visionary starting a fife and drum corps in a public school in 1971, and even he didn't think it would catch on and continue as it has though today," the post reads. "Even though he retired in 2003, he was never far from the fifes and drums, sometimes showing up at summer rehearsals just to stop by."

The page notes Matthews was involved in planning the fifes and drums 50th anniversary in 2021-22.

Kuhner Associates Funeral Directors on South George Street is handling the arrangements for 73-year Matthews.

New Jersey authorities say the accident remains under investigation.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.