Crews searching for New Albany native in Tennessee

By NEMS Daily Journal

SMITHVILLE, Tenn. – Emergency crews are searching for a Nashville surgeon who went missing while kayaking on Center Hill Lake in DeKalb County over the weekend, according to WKRN TV in Nashville.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Dr. William Coltharp, 55, was last seen around 7 p.m. Sunday.

His wife reported him missing at 1 a.m. Monday.

Coltharp is a native of New Albany.

Officials located Coltharp’s kayak around 5 a.m. near Hurricane Bridge in Smithville, about 75 miles east of Nashville.

Coltharp, who played football at Mississippi State, has worked as a cardiothoracic surgeon at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville since 1988.

In a statement, Dawn Rudolph, president and CEO of St. Thomas Hospital, told the television station, “Dr. Will Coltharp is a long-standing, respected member of the St. Thomas Hospital medical staff. All of us are joined in prayer with Dr. Coltharp’s family for his safe and rapid return.”

Coltharp was honored in 1998 as a College and School Alumni of the Year at Mississippi State.