Two women who died rafting on Ocoee identified

Authorities say it is unusual for rafters to die on the Ocoee River, but they believe two drownings this weekend were simply tragic accidents.

Warning from National Park Service about water activities. (Source: Kyle Grainger, WVLT)

Benton (AP) Authorities say it is unusual for rafters to die on the Ocoee River, but they believe two drownings this weekend were simply tragic accidents.

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokeswoman Kelly Brockman said 52-year-old Marnita McGruder of Rex, Ga., died on Saturday after she was tossed from her raft. On Sunday, 37-year-old Katherine Luna of Smyrna died after she was thrown near the same spot, on a rapid called Grumpy's.

Both women were on commercial rafting trips and were wearing life vests.

Brockman said about 300,000 people raft the Ocoee every year. The last time there was a fatal accident on the river was in 2011.

The river's flow rate at the time of this weekend's accidents was within the normal range for commercial rafting operations.


Join the Conversation!

To comment, the following rules must be followed:

  • No Obscenity, Profanity, Vulgarity, Racism or Violent Descriptions
  • No Negative Community Comparisons
  • No Fighting, Name-calling, or Personal Attacks
  • Multiple Accounts are Not Allowed
  • Stay on Story Topic

Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.

Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to webmaster@wvlt-tv.com. Please provide detailed information.

powered by Disqus

WVLT VOLUNTEER TV

6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2014 WVLT-TV Inc. - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 221225561 - local8now.com/a?a=221225561