OAK ISLAND — A Raleigh man died Friday after a wave sent him crashing onto the beach, hitting his head, his wife said.

Lee Dingle was in the ocean playing with his children, his wife, Shannon Dingle, wrote on Twitter and Facebook. WRAL reported the family was on Oak Island.

Dingle is survived by his wife and six children by birth and adoption..

"My partner, my love, and my home died today after a freak accident," Shannon Dingle wrote. "Lee was playing on the beach with three of our kids yesterday, and an intense wave hit him just right to slam his head into the sand and break his neck.

"Some heroes -- including our kids -- tried to save him, but it wouldn't have mattered what they did," she continued. "His body couldn't recover from the initial injury."

A GoFundMe page soliciting money for the family had raised over $72,000 as of 5 p.m. Saturday.

Lee Dingle was the president of Atlas Engineering in Raleigh, WRAL reported.

The couple met when he was 19 and she was 18, Shannon Dingle wrote. He graduated from N.C. State University. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill.

"I wasn't supposed to be saying goodbye at 37," she wrote. "I don't know how to be a grown up without him, but I'll learn. I just wish I didn't have to."

Shannon Dingle is a Christian writer and activist whose writing has been featured in USA Today, the Washington Post and Teen Vogue. She is a survivor of sex trafficking and abuse as a child, and her activism focuses on religion, sexual assault and disability advocacy.

She wrote about her childhood pregnancy and miscarriage at age 12 in a USA Today opinion article in opposition to strict abortion laws in Ohio and Alabama.

(c)2019 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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