TEENAGER DROWNS ON THE MEADOW RIVER
Middle Section near Nallen, WV : March 20th, 1994
DESCRIPTION: On Sunday, March 20th David Brown, his mother, and two other men went to the Meadow River to help David work on his paddling skills. He was in a kayak he'd been given the previous Christmas. They paddled around in flat water for about an hour. David was doing really well and was anxious to try some rapids. They then went downstream to the put-in and began the run. David was doing well, and was able to paddle in and out of eddies without difficulty. The group pulled over and asked David how he felt; he was excited and ready for more. The next drop was a 2' high pourover. David, running second, hit a rock, turned sideways, and flipped upstream, and pinned. He must have been knocked unconscious, because he did not struggle to exit his kayak.
A rope was thrown from upstream, but there was no response. One man prepared to lower himself downstream on a rope. Suddenly the teenager's body floated free. His mother and one of the men swam out and pulled him into shore. They began CPR at once and his mother went for help. After about 30 minutes the ambulance arrived; the boy was transported to Summersville Hospital and from there to Charleston Area Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at6 :36 PM. The cause of death was listed as drowning.
SOURCE: Glen Carlson; Frank Grilli; Fayetteville Gazette; West Virginia DNR.
ANALYSIS: Serious head injuries are rare among kayakers, but they do occur. It would be useful to know more about the type and fit of the helmet.