Local News

Jet Skis Collide At Kerr Lake; One Person Injured

Posted May 29, 2005

— An accident involving two people driving personal watercrafts Saturday at Kerr Lake has left one of them injured.

Two men in their early twenties were driving jet skis when one collided into the other.

"Crazy," said Travis Denny, who witnessed the accident. "They just weren't paying attention to what they were doing."

Denny said the two were playing cat and mouse.

"I stayed back a little bit and I saw them going round and round," he said. "Cutting up, going all across the water and all of a sudden I saw them hit."

"You ride close, it will happen," added Aaron Denny, who also witnessed the accident and is Travis' brother.

Wildlife enforcement officers said the two people involved in the accident were 21-year-old Justin Taylor and 24-year-old Roger Thorne, who was injured and taken to Maria Parham Medical Center, in Henderson, by ambulance.

"It was a lot of property damage. I do not believe his injuries are life threatening, and I think he's gonna be okay," said Eddie Vaughan, a wildlife enforcement officer.

Investigators said it might have been Thorne's first time on a personal watercraft.

"I do believe that inexperience did contribute to the accident," Vaughan said.

The Denny brothers added that it never hurts to read up on state laws and to stick to them.

State boating regulations prohibit people on personal watercrafts from coming within 50 feet of another vessel, if the people are traveling at a speed that creates a wave. Endangering someone's life or property is considered reckless operation, and is punishable by fines ranging from $25 to $50,000.

In this incident, officers are still investigating and do not know yet if charges will be filed.

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