Father offers warning after fatal wakeboarding accident

Grace White (Image courtesy Mark White)

September 29, 2010 6:56:03 AM PDT
Mark White of Cary is speaking out about the dangers of an extreme sport that killed his daughter.

Grace White - or Gracie as her family called her - was killed while wakeboarding with friends on Harris Lake in Wake County last Wednesday.

The 22-year-old died of serious head trauma.

White says he had no idea wakeboarding was so potentially dangerous.

"You're going at high speeds," Mark White explained. "One part of your body is pulled in one direction, the other part - the upper body - is pulled in the other direction, and you slam into the water. And it killed our daughter. It killed our daughter instantly."

Gracie had no broken bones and no visible injuries. But doctors told White his daughter was killed by the impact of her head hitting the water at high speed.

"I didn't know how severe the injury was, but I thought, 'Well she must've hit some dock or some obstacle,'" White said. "She didn't at all. She hit the water."

White says after Gracie's accident, his family heard from many friends who had suffered similar injuries while wakeboarding.

"They need to be very careful about their children, and the older children need to make sure they have helmets or whatever's necessary," he added.

Gracie was a recent NC State graduate and had an internship to teach English in the Galapagos Islands.

To read more about Gracie White, visit the obituary page created in her memory.

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