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Man Killed While Kayaking On Calfkiller River In Sparta

Man Killed While Kayaking On Calfkiller River In Sparta

CREATED Apr 23, 2014
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.