Local News

April 20, 2013

Kayaker dead after ‘tragic accident’ near Prater’s Mill

A Dalton man was kayaking close to the dam near Prater’s Mill Thursday evening when he went over a waterfall, hit his head and drowned, said law enforcement officials and family members.

Frank Bentley “Chip” Fetzer III, 27, 1173 Holly Grove Circle, “just couldn’t get out” of the water, said Frank Fetzer Sr., the deceased’s grandfather.

“He just went over the dam,” Fetzer said. “His girlfriend was taking his picture and when he went over the dam his kayak turned over and went into the water. We’re all very upset. It’s terrible.”

Fetzer III’s girlfriend called 911 after his kayak flipped. Emergency officials responded within minutes and took him to Hamilton Medical Center where he was pronounced dead at 6:50 p.m. Thursday, said Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood.

“This was a very tragic accident,” Chitwood said. “There’s no reason to think there was anything suspicious about it.”

Fetzer was a member of Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church. He leaves behind a daughter, Caitlyn Marie Fetzer of Cohutta.

The funeral  is Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church. Burial will be in United Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the Pleasant Grove Chapel of Julian Peeples Funeral Home today from 4 to 9 p.m

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