Accident Database

Report ID# 3824

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Kayaker dies near White County dam

Posted: Apr 23, 2014

Posted by Kara Apel, 

SPARTA, TN (WSMV) -One kayaker has died and another was transported to a nearby hospital after they went over a dam Wednesday on the Calfkiller River in White County. The incident was reported before 1 p.m. near North Main Street and the old water plant. Officials have not released the identities of the kayakers involved. One kayaker was under water for a period of time but was brought back to the surface and taken to Highlands Medical Center for treatment. It's not clear yet whether the kayakers were familiar with the river or not, or where the kayakers put in their boats.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. Man Killed While Kayaking On Calfkiller River In Sparta Posted: Apr 23, 2014 4:59 PM EDT Bews Channel

SPARTA, Tenn. – A 24-year-old kayaker was killed after getting too close to a dam on the Calfkiller River in White County. Another man was sent to the hospital for treatment. The incident happened around 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon on the river near North Main Street in Sparta. Officials said the victim was pulled underwater by the current when he got too close to the low head dam. The victim was wearing a life jacket. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency as well as members of the Sparta police and fire department and the White County sheriffs department responded to the scene. Wednesday night the TWRA was still investigating the accident.

A 55-year-old man was in a separate kayak when the victim was pulled under. Officials said he attempted to save him but was unable. The 55-year-old man was transported to White County Medical Center. Details of his condition were not available. Neither man’s identities have been released. People who spend time along the river say it is a popular place to kayak and fish, but this accident serves as a reminder to be cautious. "It's not fast moving water, it's pretty safe. Most people wear life jackets it's really not that dangerous out here or anything," said Timmy Barlow who lives in Sparta. Both men were wearing life jackets.

The Calfkiller River is a 42-mile-long stream in eastern section middle Tennessee. It is a tributary of the Caney Fork. The river is believed to be named for a Cherokee chief who once lived in the area

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!