Officials release additional information in fatal Independence Day tubing accident

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 1:33 PM EDT
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LEWS COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Three women were involved in a tubing accident at Stonewall Jackson Lake in Lewis County on July 4, killing one woman and injuring two others.

Just after 6 pm, the driver of the boat, a 50-year-old man from Harrison County, swung the tube too close to a rock wall and the tube carrying three woman, all of the age of 29, collided with the wall, according to Sgt. Ryan Schafer with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (DNR).

Sarah Hutchinson, of New Albany, IN, died in the accident. Hutchinson had 16 months left before finishing schooling to become a physician’s assistant at Alderson Broaddus University, according to Sgt. Schafer.

Kayla Sands, of Denver, CO, was taken to Ruby memorial Hospital in serious condition. Megan Wade, of St. Louis, MO, and her boyfriend were also on the boat. There were a total of five people on the boat when the accident happened.

Officials say that none of the women were wearing personal flotation devices during the accident.

The investigation is ongoing.

Alderson Broaddus University released the following statement:

“The AB campus community is deeply saddened to learn of one of our alumna and student Sarah Hutchinson’s passing. Our entire campus community grieves this loss, and we extend our deepest condolences to the families and hold them in our prayers.”

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