Hurt Brothers, Fisherman Jeremy Richardson Were Ketner's Mill Drowning Victims

Sunday, July 19, 2015 - by Emmett Gienapp

Brothers Chris and Lebron Hurt and fisherman Jeremy Richardson were the drowning victims at Ketner’s Mill in Marion County on Thursday evening.

Lebron Hurt, 26, was a welder. Chris Hurt was 23 and left behind a daughter.

Jeremy Richardson had four children.

He was 35.

The funerals will be at Tate Funeral Home in Jasper.

The visitation for all three will be Tuesday from 2-8 p.m. There will also be visitation for Jeremy Richardson on Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m.

The service for the Hurt brothers will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. and for Mr. Richardson will be Wednesday at 5 p.m.

There is one surviving Hurt brother, Charles Hurt.

The powerful current from a low-head dam trapped all three in a cyclical roll, preventing escape or rescue. The third body was recovered a mile and a half downstream at 9:30 a.m. CDT.

Emergency Management Agency Director Steve Lamb said, “It’s like being caught in a washing machine.”

Despite looking placid from the surface, as water spills over the dam it rolls at the base of the dam, creating a strong and hazardous current.

According to Mr. Lamb, the Hurt brothers were swimming above the small dam on floats when one got too close and was swept over the top. He realized that he was trapped and called for his brother, who followed him over to assist.

Mr. Richardson was fishing with a friend downstream when he saw both of the brothers go over and rushed to try to save them. He extended a board for them to grab onto, but after realizing it was too short, he dove in and was caught in the current as well.

Volunteers and employees from the TWRA, Whitwell Fire Department, Marion County Rescue, and Hamilton County STARS, along with several others, were still on location Friday afternoon looking for the third body though two were retrieved Thursday night.

Workers searched an area of about one mile downstream, but since it was impossible to get close to the dam without risking injuries or death, an underwater robot was deployed to search the turbulent waters for the deceased. 

The incident on Thursday was only a day after a similar situation in which a 34-year-old man was caught in the same undertow. Fortunately, an 18-year-old, Bryan Pruitt was fishing on site and had adequate training from being a Boy Scout to jump in the water and get the man to safety.

Ketner’s Mill has been a long time hotspot for locals to spend time with friends and family, fish, or swim, despite the danger of being in close proximity to the dam.

Mr. Lamb said that at least one person drowns every year near this location or by the dam at Nickajack Lake nearby.

He also said that low-head dams have been an issue all across the country since thousands of them are still in place from when they were used to power gristmills. Everywhere is the same story - dangerous currents created by leftover constructions, he said.

When asked what could be done about furthering public safety, Mr. Lamb said that there is not much that could be done since the waterways themselves are public. There are signs on both banks explaining the danger, but some simply do not take necessary precautions.

EMA hopes to educate the public on potential hazards like this in order to reduce the number of needless tragedies and the organization will be hosting seminar and education sessions in the next several months to that end.

Mr. Lamb had said he and his peers would keep going back as long as it would take to bring closure to the distraught families.

 


Jumonte Brown Charged With Driving Vehicle Toward Patrol Car

Melton Arrested After He Gets Upset Over Text From "Baby Daddy"

Woman Who Made Frequent Trips To Atlanta To Get Large Quantities Of Meth Sentenced To 8 Years In Federal Prison


A Chattanooga man has been charged with aggravated assault on police after allegedly attempting to run over a police officer with his vehicle in an incident on June 18. According to police, ... (click for more)

A Chattanooga man has been charged with kidnapping after holding a woman at gunpoint on Friday. According to police, they responded to a call by a woman who claimed Bennie Melton, 24, had ... (click for more)

A woman who admitted making numerous trips to Atlanta to pick up large quantities of meth has been sentenced to serve eight years in federal prison. Amanda Tindell appeared before Judge Sandy ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Jumonte Brown Charged With Driving Vehicle Toward Patrol Car

A Chattanooga man has been charged with aggravated assault on police after allegedly attempting to run over a police officer with his vehicle in an incident on June 18. According to police, Jumonte Brown, 20, drove through a red light at the intersection of E. Brainerd Road and Bunker Hill Road. Officer Jacob Lee noticed and began to pursue Brown’s vehicle. The suspect ... (click for more)

Melton Arrested After He Gets Upset Over Text From "Baby Daddy"

A Chattanooga man has been charged with kidnapping after holding a woman at gunpoint on Friday. According to police, they responded to a call by a woman who claimed Bennie Melton, 24, had put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. When the police arrived at Highland Park, the woman said she used to date Melton. She was driving him somewhere when she received a text ... (click for more)

Opinion

Concern For Our Country - And Response (2)

I am very concerned about the direction of our country. Everyone has to be on a “side” – no one working together. With that attitude we will get nowhere. Let me say up front, I have always been (and so has my family, dating back generations) a Democrat – now, seeing their behavior, I can’t imagine that I was ever one of them. I was even a volunteer when Carter ran for office. Here ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Native Code Of Ethics

Many moons ago I flipped over what is now being called a poem by the great Shawnee warrior and chief, Tecumseh. The fact the chief didn’t like the “Pale Face” is understandable – they (we) blatantly stole the Indians’ land in a reign of terror after the Revolutionary War – yet Tecumseh is arguably the finest Native American who ever lived before he died at age 45. It can be argued ... (click for more)

Sports

UTC's Tiano, Lawson At SoCon Media Days Monday

The 2019 Southern Conference Football Media Day is set for Monday, July 22, in Spartanburg, S.C. Representatives from all nine football playing schools in the league will be on hand for the afternoon of interviews and discussions leading into the 2019 season. Senior quarterback Nick Tiano and junior defensive back Jerrell Lawson, are making the trip, along with head coach Rusty ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Lookouts Drop Fourteenth Straight Game Losing To Jacksonville Sunday, 10-5

The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp defeated the Chattanooga Lookouts by a 10-5 score in the fourth game of the four-game series at AT&T Field on Sunday afternoon. Chattanooga's won-loss record for the second half stands at 8-21. The loss was the 14th straight for the stumbling Lookouts who are now just one loss away from tying the Southern League's longest losing streak record ... (click for more)