Boy dies after jet ski accident near Sweet Home

Zach Maynard, 6, died in a Portland hospital on Thursday.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 4:38 PM
Updated: Jul 23, 2020 6:57 PM

SWEET HOME, Ore. -- Zachary Maynard, one of the children hit by a jet ski in an accident at Foster Reservoir on Monday, has died.

The family's pastor confirmed the death on Thursday afternoon.

Maynard and Kennedy Swenson, both 6, suffered life-threatening injuries and were flown to a hospital in Portland. According to a Facebook post, Maynard received surgery to relieve pressure from his brain. 

An adult was also injured. Swenson's condition is not known at this time.


The Linn County Sheriff's Office said a 23-year-old man fell off his jet ski, but it kept going and plowed through the swim zone at Lewis Creek Park. Deputies did not confirm if alcohol or drugs are a factor but officials said he is cooperating.

Questions remain about why the jet ski lost control and barreled through the swim zone.

The sheriff's office said they are scheduling an inspection of the jet ski, which is a 2020 Sea-Doo Spark Trixx. 

"I'm surprised the kill switch didn't engage and I would like to know why," Haggar said. "I have never really heard of a jet ski that does that."

A kill switch is a device required by Oregon law to be used while operating a jet ski. The idea is that a lanyard with a key is attached to the operator, so when the driver falls off, the key is pulled out, and the engine stops.

A GoFundMe has been set up for both Maynard and Swenson.

In the meantime, Sweet Home residents are asking for support as the community heals from this tragedy.

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