WEST LINN, Ore. – Authorities identified a man who died after two personal watercraft crashed in the Willamette River in West Linn Friday night, deputies said.
The father and son were celebrating the boy’s 7th birthday on a Jet Ski-like watercraft near the Cedaroak Boat Ramp around 8 p.m.
Eryk Simmons, 39, could not be revived after he was knocked into the water after family friend, 38-year-old Michael Bailey of Tigard, crashed his watercraft into him.
A bystander who saw the collision helped pull Simmons to shore, but medical responders could not revive him and he was pronounced dead at the scene, said Marcus Mendoza with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
"It was extremely loud. I immediately looked up and at that point I knew it was really bad, fiberglass against fiberglass. The little boy was screaming and the other gentleman that hit him swam over to the little boy and then over to the little boy's father, but I didn't see the father until I got out there," said Dennis Elleson who helped pull the man to shore.
Police informed the boy's mother who was not at the river when the accident happened.
The boy was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Deputies were investigating and said Bailey was cooperating with them.