Father, 9-year-old son die after jet ski collides with barge on a Tennessee lake

A search crew located the 9-year-old’s body at 6:40 p.m. Sunday, according to agency....
A search crew located the 9-year-old’s body at 6:40 p.m. Sunday, according to agency. following a jet ski accident on Cheatham Lake.(WSMV)
Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 2:15 PM HST|Updated: Sep. 11, 2023 at 5:38 AM HST
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CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) - ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WSMV) - A father and his 9-year-old son are dead after they crashed their jet ski into a barge and were thrown into Cheatham Lake, according to authorities.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said 36-year-old Steven White was on a jet ski with his 9-year-old son just before 8 p.m. Saturday when he hit a barge that was being pushed by a tow boat.

The boat’s operator activated an alarm, and deckhands worked to assist White and his son. The wildlife agency said White was found unresponsive and without a pulse. He was later pronounced dead by first responders nearby.

Multiple agencies searched the area for the missing 9-year-old until 1 a.m. Sunday. A full-scale search resumed later Sunday morning until a search crew located the 9-year-old’s body at 6:40 p.m., according to agency.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency confirmed that both White and his son were wearing life vests at the time of the crash.

The boy’s mother waited and watched the search for her son while in tears.

“She’s down there waiting for her little boy,” Mary Felts, a Cheatham County resident, said during the search. “She won’t leave until they find him.”

Rescue crews said they were determined to work as hard as they could to bring the victims’ family closure.

This deadly crash brings the number of boating-related deaths to 22 in Tennessee this year. The incident remains under investigation.