Accident Database

Report ID# 1079

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Failed Rescue

Accident Description

Clear Fork High School graduate dies in whitewater rafting accident
By Linda Martz News Journal

MANSFIELD -- A 29-year-old who graduated from Clear Fork High School a decade ago died Saturday in a whitewater rafting accident near Boise, Idaho. Boise County Coroner Pam Garlock said Andrew William Smith, who had moved to Boise, died while on a guided raft trip down the South Fork of the Payette River. "He went through some rapids and was washed out of the raft.

There were several people there and CPR was started immediately when they pulled him out of the water. He wasn't in the water very long. "They worked on him for two hours trying to revive him," she said. "They got no response." Garlock said Smith's wife, Melissa, was in the raft when the accident occurred. The coroner said she believed Whitewater Unlimited Corp. employees started CPR as soon as he was taken from the water. Smith was then transferred to an ambulance, from an access point near a highway. Plans were made to transport the 29-year-old to a hospital via medical helicopter, but were halted after efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, she said.

The cause of death was tentatively listed as drowning. "We are still pending results from the autopsy," which was completed Monday, Garlock said. Smith was born in Ashland to Alfred and Linda Smith and graduated from Clear Fork High School in 1996. As a youth living near Butler, he was involved in the Knox County 4-H, along with its leadership counsel and junior fair board. He was active on his high school golf and tennis teams, and belonged to the ski club and National Honor Society. He earned a bachelor's degree in business from The Ohio State University in 2001. He lived in San Jose, Calif., for four years, and moved to Idaho this year. He had worked for ABF Freight for the past five years, most recently as terminal manager.

Man dies in rafting accident on South Fork of Payette River

Idaho Statesman: 06-10-2006

A 29-year-old man died in a rafting accident this afternoon on the South Fork Payette River east of Banks on Highway 17, near Staircase rapids, according to the Boise County Sheriff's Office. The man's name or cause of death has not been released. Witnesses said the man was part of a commercial rafting trip. The South Fork of the Payette River at Staircase is running more than 5,500 cfs today, which is considered high.

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