A man was arrested and charged Friday in the death of a woman who drowned after a canoe capsized on Chickamauga Lake in January, according to a Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency news release.
Michael Smith of Harrison, Tennessee, faces three charges of no life jacket, one count of registration violation and one count of reckless operation that resulted in death. Smith was taken into custody and booked into the Hamilton County Jail.
Theresa Parker and Smith were two of three people in a canoe that capsized on Chickamauga Lake near the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant on January 15. The boaters were not wearing life jackets.
Responding crews found one man on shore and boat crews found one woman along the bank. Both were suffering from cold water immersion symptoms. They were taken to CHI Memorial Hospital in Hixson.
The canoe was recovered the next day.
Parker's body was recovered Sunday, January 17, and transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's office.
TWRA officers completed an investigation and presented their findings to the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office.
TWRA officers investigate and identify contributing factors and causes for every boating incident across the state. "Many fatalities are preventable. With 32 boating fatalities on Tennessee waters in 2020, we remind everyone to wear a life jacket and of the importance of boating safety," TWRA Boating Officer David Holt said.
— Compiled by Jody Park
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