Former Carter Co. circuit court clerk, wife identified as campers killed in storm

CARTER COUNTY, TN (WJHL)- Friday night emergency officials responded to the scene of a double fatality near Fish Springs Marina on Watauga Lake.

According to officials with the Carter County Sheriff’s Department, John Paul “JP” Mathes and his wife Robin were killed when a tree fell on their tent during the severe weather Friday night.


Mathes served in Carter county for years as a Circuit Court Clerk, and as a county commissioner.

His son JP Mathes II spoke to us Saturday morning and said he was still in shock over what happened Friday night.

“He was doing what he loved, you wouldn’t think that what he loved would be dangerous, but with extreme weather situations, you know anything can become dangerous. Last night showed me it can happen,” JP Mathes said.

JP did tell us his father loved the outdoors, and especially camping.

“My dad has been camping ever since I was a kid, some of my best memories as a child was him taking me on camping trips,” JP Mathes said.

Family members have not yet made funeral arrangements.

Deputies said high winds from the storm on Friday night caused the tree to fall on their campsite.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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