Accident Database

Report ID# 116244

  • Flush Drowning
  • Head Injury / Concussion

Accident Description

100 Miles South of Cleveland, OH

 Man dies Monday due to brain injury caused by drowning after kayak flips Sunday

Staff report: May 31, 2022

The Times-Reporter, New Philadelphia, OH     

GNADENHUTTEN — A 72-year-old Dennison man died after a kayak accident Sunday afternoon near state Route 416 and U.S. Route 36, according to Tscarawas County Sheriff Orvis Campbell.

The sheriff's department was called at 5:27 p.m. A deputy arrived to find Ronald Swigert had flipped over in his kayak on the Tuscarawas River while kayaking with family. Swigert was still in the river due to the bank being muddy.

Deputy Ray Cottrell entered the water and helped pull Swigert onto the bank. He began CPR. Emergency medical personnel from the Arrowhead Joint Fire District took him to Twin City Medical Center in Dennison.

He was then taken to Akron City Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:25 p.m. Monday, according to Gary Guenther, chief Investigator for the Summit County Medical Examiner. Swigert died from an anoxic brain injury due to drowning, Guenther said.


The first happened at "Gnadenhutten Rapids" a class II series of waves and rocks immediately after the river turns 90 degrees. Usually not an issue but intimidating to the inexperienced and unprepared. I have no information on how the paddler was dressed or PFD use.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!