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Teen critically injured in jet ski wreck

Posted: August 20, 2014 - 12:15am

A local teenager remained hospitalized Monday after being hit by a personal watercraft at Clarks Hill Lake over the weekend.

Thomas Marshall Jay, 14, was in critical condition at the Georgia Regents Medical Center, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Emergency personnel were called to the Keg Creek boat ramp at about 3:30 p.m. Thomas was riding as a passenger on a watercraft driven by a 17-year-old when he either jumped or fell off on Keg Creek near the bridge, according to Georgia Department of Natural Resources Capt. Mark Padgett. One of the other two craft hit Jay in the water.

Family members on a nearby pontoon boat pulled Thomas on board and took him to the Keg Creek boat ramp and called for help, Padgett said. He was airlifted to the hospital.

Padgett said all those involved in the incident had taken the required DNR-approved boater safety courses to legally operate the personal water craft.

The DNR Critical Incident Reconstruction Team, which is called in to investigate serious injuries or fatalities on the water, is investigating the incident. No one has been charged, Padgett said.

According to the DNR Web site, anyone under 12 can not legally operate a personal water craft.

Those 12 to 15 can operate one only if they have passed a DNR-approved boating safety course or are accompanied by a competent adult.

Those 16 and older can operate a personal water craft is they have proper identification on their person. All operators born after Jan. 1, 1988, must have passed a DNR-approved boater education course and have the card on the watercraft.

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