American River Rafting Deaths

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March 10, 2015
Edward Smith

American River Rafting Deaths

Injuries Resulting from American River Rafting 

With the days getting warmer, many Northern Californians’ thoughts turn to summer and the plethora of outdoor activities available in our area, including rafting on the American River.  While the immediate Sacramento region features a rather mild experience from the university area to Fair Oaks that is popular with college-aged rafters looking for more of a party atmosphere, we are not far from the Middle Fork, which provides a more exciting experiencing – including Class II & Class III rapids and a few exhilarating Class IV drops.

The Middle Fork is located an hour from Sacramento, 50 miles to the east.  Its flows are regulated by Oxbow Dam, so the river levels are very consistent.

Tunnel Chute

Tunnel Chute is probably the most popular part of the Middle Fork rafting adventure, but the run features other Class IV rapids including Parallel Parking, Cartwheel, and Upper Ruck-a-Chucky. Ruck-a-Chucky itself is a massive drop with huge boulders and is considered unrunnable.

Watch YouTube Video: Tunnel Chute Rapid on the Middle Fork of the American River. Here is a video of rafters experiencing Tunnel Chute.

An Attorney Can Help

Rafter deaths along the Middle Fork are uncommon, averaging less than one per year.  Commercial rafting companies focus on safety and often provide an incident-free, exciting experience.  With the uncontrollable nature of the river, however, injuries can obviously occur.  An attorney can help navigate a potential injury claim against a rafting company.  The biggest pitfall to an injury claim is the waiver of liability that rafting companies require all rafters sign before beginning their adventure.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer with the primary accident information site on the web,

If you or someone you love has been injured in a rafting accident, call me at (916) 921-6400.

Find out more about our office by reading our reviews on Yelp or Avvo.

Photo by Gijs Coolen on Unsplash