Canoe accident injures woman


A woman was seriously injured in a canoe accident involving nine people Sunday on Big Darby Creek near Harrisburg.

The incident took place near the I-71 overpass in Pleasant Township in Franklin County.

Four canoes overturned, leaving several unable to return to the shore. The current was stronger than normal because of recent storms.

“We ended up with nine people that needed to be evacuated from the water,” Pleasant Township Fire Chief Jay Noojin told The Press.

The emergency call came about 3:23 p.m., Noojin said.

A woman identified as Soraya Rojas was taken to Mount Carmel West Hospital in critical condition. She is expected to survive, according to media reports.

Rojas’ son, Brian Quintana, said the canoe she was riding in hit a fallen tree, throwing her into the water. She became pinned between the branches and the boat, he said.

Rojas was knocked under water by another canoe, but was pulled out after a couple of minutes, Quintana said. CPR was performed at the scene.

Rescuers from Pleasant Township, Jefferson Township and Jackson Township responded to the incident.

The canoes were rented from the Trapper John Canoe Livery on London-Groveport Road. An employee at the livery said the canoe rental was closed Monday, and would likely be closed Tuesday because of high water.

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.

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