Investigation continues into violent jet ski accident

The children are in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Posted: Jul 21, 2020 6:49 PM
Updated: Jul 21, 2020 6:51 PM

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- Questions remain about why a jet ski lost control and barreled through a swim zone at Foster Reservoir, injuring two children and one adult.

The children, Zachary Maynard and Kennedy Swenson, both Sweet Home residents, are in the hospital with life-threatening injuries. According to a Facebook post, Maynard received surgery to relieve pressure from his brain. Both of their current conditions are unknown at this time.

RELATED: JET SKI ACCIDENT SENDS TWO CHILDREN TO THE HOSPITAL

Katlyn Haggar, a Sweet Home resident and mother, was at the reservoir and saw the emergency vehicles drive by.

"I was freaking out," Haggar said. "I'm praying for those kids."

The Linn County Sheriff's Office said a 23-year-old man fell off his jet ski, but it kept going and plowed through the swim zone at Lewis Creek Park. Deputies did not confirm if alcohol or drugs are a factor but officials said he is cooperating.

Vanessa Bonilla is a mother and is camping at the park. She said she was shocked when she heard about the runaway jet ski.

"I'm on a high alert right now and every time I see the jet skis coming or the boats, I'm worried," Bonilla said. "I'm pretty much in fear."

The sheriff's office said they are scheduling an inspection of the jet ski, which is a 2020 Sea-Doo Spark Trixx. The one question people still have is why the kill switch didn't work.

"I'm surprised the kill switch didn't engage and I would like to know why," Haggar said. "I have never really heard of a jet ski that does that."

A kill switch is a device required by Oregon law to be used while operating a jet ski. The idea is that a lanyard with a key is attached to the operator, so when the driver falls off, the key is pulled out, and the engine stops.

A GoFundMe has been set up for both Maynard and Swenson. At last check, they both have more than $3,000.

In the meantime, Sweet Home residents are asking for support as the community heals from this tragedy.

"We're just trying to come together and pray for the families," Haggar said. "We're trying to stay strong, I know it's hard with COVID but we have to be a community and just pray."

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