Reynoldsburg Woman Dies While White Water Rafting In NY


UPDATED: Monday October 1, 2012 6:38 PM

A woman’s dream of white water rafting quickly turned into a deadly nightmare and police said the trip leader is to blame.

Tammy Blake and Rick Clar, both 53, have been a couple for twelve years.

Last week during vacation to central New York, they decided to do something they had never done. They booked a whitewater rafting trip in the Hudson River Gorge, featuring 17 miles of class three and four rapids.

The trip tragically ended soon after it began.

“She was special to me, I was special to her. We were going to grow old together,” said Clar.

Clar said the whitewater rafting adventure was on Blake’s ‘bucket list’ her entire life.

But just 20 minutes after the trip started, they hit a big rapid and Blake fell backwards into the water.

"I saw her eyes open up, and her mouth open up, seeming to say, ‘Oh no,’”  said Clar. “She was going down the river fast."

Their guide, Rory Fay, also fell out, and he was able to swim to shore.
 
But Clar soon lost sight of Blake as he maneuvered the raft to the shore.

“It was all woods, so I was just running down the river bank as far as I could, calling her name,” he said.

But there was no response, as panic set in.

“What the hell am I going to do? I was thinking, I need help,” said Clar.

Hours later, search teams pulled Blakes's body from the water, five miles downstream.

New York State Police say they are investigating if Fay, a licensed guide, was drunk during the trip.

He is now charged with negligent homicide.

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