Man rescues woman from deadly Scott Co. kayaking accident

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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SCOTT COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Following a deadly kayaking accident Wednesday night, we’re hearing from a man who witnessed the tragedy.

JC King said he helped rescue a woman, but sadly, her fiancée, identified as 26-year-old Edwardo Ponce, died in the accident. The Scott County coroner said both were kayaking in Elkhorn Creek when they went over the dam and were pulled underneath.

King was driving home from his carpenter job when he saw the accident about to happen. He saw Ponce and his fiancée heading over the Great Crossing Dam.

“He jumped out of his and she was still on hers and hers flipped sideways,” King said. “She was closer to the side and we got her out.”

King said the woman was pulled safely to shore.

“As soon as I grabbed her, she just started saying ‘thank you,’ and screaming his name,” King said.

He said Ponce was fighting to stay above water while logs and other debris hit him from all sides.

“The last time he went under and I didn’t see him I knew it wasn’t good,” King said.

King said officials took off on a boat and dropped a rope overboard into the water. He said they caught Ponce when he was nearly under the bridge, and a fireman fell into the water trying to bring him to safety.

“He went and got pinned up against the bridge with some wood and we all ran over there,” King said. “We walked back around and they had got him on the stretcher and had been doing CPR.”

According to the Scott County coroner, the 26-year-old was pronounced dead at 8 p.m. The coroner said the two kayakers were going to get married in July.

“I just want to tell her how sorry I am and I wish I could’ve done more when I was there,” King said.

King said he’ll see the creek differently for the rest of his life.

According to the US Geological Survey, the water level of the North Elkhorn Creek topped seven feet at the time of the accident after rounds of heavy rain.

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