Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Death on Lake Gaston, 3rd installment

Details about this past weekend's accident are beginning to emerge in the mainstream press.

From the Richmond Times Dispatch:
A 15-year-old Richmond-area boy was killed Sunday in a personal-watercraft accident on Lake Gaston in North Carolina, authorities said yesterday.

Mark Sheridan Brennan, a student at Deep Run High School in Henrico County, was killed after another personal watercraft slammed into the one he was driving.

The accident occurred when Brennan slowed his craft and the second one hit it, said Capt. Chris Huebner, hunter and boater safety coordinator for North Carolina's Wildlife Resources Commission.

Brennan died instantly of trauma to the back of his head and neck, Huebner said.

Dr. Aaron Spence, principal of Deep Run High School, called Brennan a "wonderful young man" who was "quiet and thoughtful, but polite" and will be missed by his teachers and peers. He said Brennan was a rising sophomore and a member of the wrestling team.

A funeral for Brennan will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Christ Church Episcopal on Pouncey Tract Road in western Henrico County.

A 15-year-old girl was on the back of Brennan's watercraft. She was hit in the back and suffered internal injuries, Huebner said.

She was initially taken to a hospital in Halifax County, N.C., then transported to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville, N.C., where she was in critical condition Monday, Huebner said.

Brennan, the girl and the two 15-year-old boys on the second personal watercraft were friends and were on the lake together, Huebner said. Authorities would not identify the girl and the two other boys because they are juveniles.

The initial investigation showed that the driver of the second watercraft had not taken a required boat-safety course, Huebner said. The Halifax County, N.C., district attorney will decide if charges should be brought in the accident, he said.

The 20,300-acre lake is located on the Virginia-North Carolina line between Interstates 85 and 95.
Sad. And I'm particularly struck that the operator of the 2nd PWC hadn't taken a boating safety course. PWC aren't toys, and most young teenagers don't have the sense, I would suggest, to operate them -- even if they've had the safety course.

And this:
Wildlife officials say a jet ski slowed down near the Eaton Ferry Bridge on Lake Gaston.

They said a second jet ski later ran over the top of the first one, killing the 15-year-old driver and critically hurting a 16-year-old passenger. The driver and passenger of the second jet ski were not seriously hurt.

Wildlife officials say the operator of the second jet ski had not undergone an approved boating safety course.
Boat safely, please folks. And teach your children well.

1 comment:

  1. Kids and jetski laws. Knowone under 14 can opperate one in NC after Nov 05. I had to purchase a Donzi ski boat (300 horsepower) so my 8 and 10 year old can have something to drive aroung the lake with their friends. Thank god the boat manufactures have more clout than the PWC makers or they would have outlaw that too.

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