Connecticut River jet ski accident takes life of Meriden man

This time of year, people of all walks of life take to the open air to enjoy the Connecticut River. The largest flowing waterway in New England, it snakes southeast through Hartford and finally opens onto the Long Island Sound at Old Lyme and Old Saybrook. While the summer months allow us to ponder the simultaneous steadfastness and flow of the river, the tragedy of a recent jet ski accident is also a sobering reminder of how fragile life can be.

In late July, two Meriden residents were taken to Hartford Hospital after the jet ski they were riding collided with what was described as a 33-foot pleasure boat. The 34-year-old driver of the jet ski suffered serious injuries, and an aeromedical transport service had to be called to the scene to treat him. His 31-year-old passenger suffered less serious injuries, characterized as minor, and she was soon released from the hospital.

Sadly, doctors at Hartford Hospital pronounced the jet ski driver dead on the following day. The precise cause of death was not made public in a local news item.

There was no word as to whether the 28-year-old Manchester man driving the boat was injured, and the accident was still under investigation by the Connecticut Environmental Conservation police.

Jet skis are powerful machines. If designed, maintained and operated safely, they offer an opportunity for summertime excitement and fun. But like all machines they can do great harm. As more information becomes available to the aggrieved family and friends, they may envision the possibility of some stable ground on which to move forward. This transition is immensely difficult, but it can happen. And the goal should remain to do everything reasonably possible to prevent this from happening again.

Source: News 8, "Man dies after jet ski accident on Connecticut River," July 23, 2012

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