Accident Database

Report ID# 752

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water

Accident Description

Rachael E. Graham and Krystal L. Titus, both 12, drowned on a church-sponsored canoeing trip on French Creek in Pennsylvania on June 18, 2003. Both washed into trees and drowned. Little is known about the accident. The girls' parents considered filing a lawsuit against Allegheny River Canoe Rental of Franklin, alleging that the water was too high for safe canoeing that day, and that the girls were outfitted with ill-fitting adult-sized PFDs. The "high water" criticism is difficult to reconcile with the date; the USGS says that the river ran 176 cfs on 6-18-03, rising to 1370 and 2130 cfs on 6-20 and 6-21, respectively. The level on June 21 was the highest the stream had seen in four years.

Tree strainer; ages: 13,14

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