Accident Database

Report ID# 2133

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

From the Roanoke, VA Times:

Searchers find body of athlete 5 days after canoe capsized Search teams on Thursday found the body of a minor league baseball player five days after he disappeared while canoeing on the New River in Grayson County. Erik James Walker, 23, of Clemmons, N.C., had been canoeing with a friend Saturday when the boat capsized in the Molly Shoals stretch of the river, Julia Dixon, spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, said in a press release. Walker and his friend were wading beside the canoe when they came across deep water and Walker was pulled away by the current. Walker's friend made it to shore and called for help.

Up to 200 people had searched for Walker for days, but cold weather and river conditions made the search difficult. Thursday, the water level had dropped and water clarity was better, said Jason Harris, a game warden with the department. Walker's body was found in the same part of the river where he disappeared, the press release said. That section, near the community of Cox's Chapel, is filled with underwater logs, boulders and ledges. Walker pitched for UNC-Charlotte while in college and was drafted in June by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Walker was humble, even after achieving great things in the minor leagues, Pope said. "He put family and friends in front of anyone else."

-- Amanda Codispoti

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