Boy in Gorham watercraft accident dies

Mike Murphy

A 3-year-old boy involved in a personal watercraft crash Wednesday has died, the Ontario County sheriff’s office announced Thursday afternoon.

Samuel Pierson, 3, of Fairport, died of his injuries at approximately 10:07 p.m. Wednesday at Strong Memorial Hospital, deputies said.

His mother, Kerry Pierson, 37, was listed in guarded condition Thursday morning at the hospital.

An initial investigation into the crash found no signs that alcohol or medication contributed to the crash, but deputies are still investigating what happened and plan to speak to Pierson when her condition improves.

Ontario County sheriff's deputies, Crystal Beach firefighters and Canandaiguia ambulance crews responded to the Thorndale Beach area in the town of Gorham at 1:39 p.m. after reports of the crash.

Pierson and her son were treated at the scene by first-responders. The victims were then transported to two Mercy Flight Central helicopters and flown to Strong

Witnesses said a jet ski carrying the two victims was coming into shore when it sped up and crashed into a wall. Several people were in the water at the time, witnesses said.

"Everything just exploded," said Marlene Wenglein, who was sitting outside two cottages away at the time of the crash.

The woman flew several feet into the air after impact and landed on the lawn, said neighbor Bill Payne.

"It was just like out of the movies," Payne said. "Then I realized this is serious."

Wenglein said she ran over and comforted the boy, who she said had facial injuries and a possible broken arm. Others worked to free the vehicle and see if others were hurt, she said.

"I just said, 'You're all right, hon. Mom's coming,'" Wenglein said. "When he tried to move, I held him a little tighter."