Accident Database

Report ID# 795

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • Inexperience

Accident Description

On June 29, 2002, Madhavi Alapati and Ram Chaitanya Reddy Pallicala, two students at West Virginia University in Morgantown, drowned on Decker's Creek. Alapati, an Electrical Engineering student, slipped and fell into the water while hiking along the river; Pallicala dived in to rescue her. Though Pallicala could swim, he was pulled under one of Decker's many undercut rocks. Decker's Creek is is one of Northern West Virginia's famously steep creeks, replete with many sieves, strainers, and undercuts. Pallicala died at the creek. Alapati was pulled comatose from the water and died six days later. Andy Horton, who knows the creek extremely well, believes that accident occurred below Top Hat, at a popular summer swimming area.

(Information from and the Friends of Decker's Creek,

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