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Local teenager injured in boating accident near Lonas Young Memorial Park

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By PETER SAWYER

 A teenager was airlifted to U.T. Medical Center with injuries to his back and foot after allegedly jumping from a bridge onto a passing bass boat.

Saturday afternoon, the 17-year old boy allegedly jumped from a bridge on Demory Road that crosses the Big Creek Arm of Norris Lake at a height of about 30 feet, according to a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency press release. He landed near the center of a passing bass boat, injuring his foot and back, and causing damage to the vessel. The driver of the boat was uninjured, the press release said. The teenaged victim’s injuries weren’t life threatening, and alcohol isn’t considered a factor, the press release said.

Multiple TWRA agents, led by Campbell County Wildlife Officer Ken Cutsinger, came to the scene of the accident.

“Quick response time for us,” TWRA Public Information Officer Matt Cameron said. 

People come to the lake for holiday weekends, Cameron said.

“A lot of potential for accidents to happen,” Cameron said.

But there are only one to two officers in each county, Cameron said. And it’s very rare for TWRA to be present when an accident happens.

But there was a big TWRA presence at Sequoyah Marina where preparations were being made for a fireworks display. 

“There was a fireworks show that night at Sequoyah Marina, so officers were already on the lake,” Cameron said.

TWRA officers were trying to keep boats in line and out of the fall out zone of the fireworks.

An accident in Anderson County drew official’s attention first. Around 3:30 p.m., a man’s personal watercraft exploded when he was attempting to start it, the press release said. Witnesses said the man was thrown several feet in the air, the press release said. This man was also transported to UT Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. TWRA agent Jason Lankford lead the investigation in Anderson County.

The accident involving the teenager and the bass boat near Lonas Young Memorial Park occurred about an hour after the accident in Anderson County.