Accident Database

Report ID# 3205

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Non-Witness Narrative by (do not publish name) on 2009-09-28 (okay to publish): We arrivied 5-10 minutes after raft had turned over. Victim was thrown from the raft and recovered shortly afterwards in apparent cardiac arrest.

Ky rafter who died after accident on Gauley ID'ed
September 29, 2009 12:48 EDT

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (AP) -- Authorities have identified a Kentucky man who died after a rafting accident on the Gauley River.

Chief Ranger Gary Hartley with the New River Gorge National River says 32-year-old Eric Hampton of Louisville, Ky., died Sunday at a Summersville hospital. Harley says Hampton was among a group taking a "double-upper" trip when the accident occurred Sunday afternoon. Rafters on a "double-upper" trip ride the Upper Gauley River twice in one day.

Harley says one boat overturned in a Class V rapid called Pillow Rock on the second run. The group's guide got everyone back into the boat but Hampton had difficulty breathing and became unresponsive. Despite CPR attempts, he couldn't be revived.


Just last Sunday, 32-year-old Eric L. Hampton of Louisville, Ky., also on an American Canadian Expeditions trip, died after the raft he was in caught the corner of a rock and overturned at Pillow Rock, another Class V rapid. The guide managed to upright the raft and get the passengers back in, but Hampton began to experience breathing difficulty and became unresponsive. He died about 90 minutes later at Summersville Memorial. On Sept. 12, Eric Clark, 40, of Circleville, Ohio, died while rafting with Adventure West Virginia Resort. Clark, three other rafters and their guide were thrown into the river when their raft struck a large wave in the Class V Insignificant rapid. Clark was pulled into another raft, but then began exhibiting medical difficulties and apparently went into cardiac arrest. He was pronounced dead at Summersville Memorial.

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