Personal Watercraft Accident; Two Persons Injured On Smith Lake

by Staff
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CULLMAN COUNTY – A marine-related incident occurred on Lewis Smith Lake at approximately 3:15 p.m. Thursday, July 4, and has resulted in the injury of a Cullman man.

Garlan E. Gudger Jr., 49, was injured when the 2024 Sea-Doo GTI personal watercraft (PWC) he was operating was struck in the rear by a 2019 Sea-Doo GTI PWC operated by Garlan E. Gudger III, 21, of Cullman. The collision caused both individuals to be thrown into the water, however, both Gudger Jr., and Gudger III were wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs).

Bystanders in the area assisted both individuals out of the water and transported them to a nearby dock. Garlan E. Gudger Jr., was evaluated by local emergency medical services personnel (EMS) and was subsequently transported via helicopter to the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital for medical treatment. Garlan E. Gudger III was also evaluated by local EMS personnel but was released at the scene.

The incident occurred in Little Crooked Creek area (also known as Rock Creek) on Lewis Smith Lake near Crane Hill in Cullman County. The Crane Hill Fire Department and Cullman EMS both responded to the scene and assisted with medical treatment and transport. Nothing further is available as Troopers with Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) Marine Patrol Division continue to investigate.

Media Release/Sergeant Jeremy J. Burkett/Administrative Bureau Director

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