Teen killed when personal watercraft runs aground, strikes tree on Alabama lake

Published 8:32 pm Sunday, May 21, 2023

A teenager was killed late Saturday night when his personal watercraft ran aground and struck a tree on an Alabama lake, state police said.

The accident involved a single-vessel and occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Daegen P. Vaughn, 19, of Summerville, Georgia, was fatally injured when the 2021 Yamaha WaveRunner he was operating ran aground and struck a tree.

Vaughn was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Mason D. Sterner, 22, also of Summerville, Ga., a passenger on the WaveRunner was injured during the crash and was transported to Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Ga., for treatment.

Both Vaughn and Sterner were using a personal floatation device (PFD) at the time of the crash. The incident occurred in the Yellow Creek area of Weiss Lake near Cedar Bluff, in Cherokee County.

The Sand Rock Volunteer Fire Department, Cherokee County Rescue Squad, Leesburg Police Department, Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd Ambulance Service, and ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division responded and assisted with the incident.