A tragic watercraft accident in Florida has led to the death of former astronaut Alan Poindexter, NASA announced yesterday.
It seems Poindexter, 50, was riding jet skis with his two sons in Pensacola on Sunday when the crash occurred.
The astronaut and his 22-year-old son Samuel were riding one jet ski while his older son Zachary, 26, was riding another, said Stan Kirkland, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“They stopped and apparently Zachary did not see them stop,” Kirkland said. “He struck the right rear or the right stern of their personal watercraft. His watercraft went up and apparently struck Captain Poindexter in the back. Both Captain Poindexter and Samuel were ejected.”
The former astronaut was flown to Baptist Hospital where he died from his injuries.
Poindexter’s sons weren’t in the crash.
Investigators seem satisfied that the incident was an accident and consider it to be “a terrible tragedy.”
Alan Poindexter, who often went by the nickname “Dex,” is the son of former National Security Adviser John Poindexter.
Dex made two space flights during his NASA career with NASA. In February 2008, he was the pilot aboard the space shuttle Atlantis. He went to space again in April 2010 as commander of the space shuttle Discovery.
“The NASA family was sad to learn of the passing of our former friend and colleague Alan Poindexter,” NASA wrote on Facebook. “Our thoughts and hearts are with his family.”
What a tragic way to go. I suppose we’ve all got to die someday, so you might as well go out while having fun with your kids.
- Shuttle Astronaut Alan Poindexter Killed in Tragic Jet Ski Accident (universetoday.com)
- Retired NASA Astronaut Alan Poindexter, 1961-2012 (fox2now.com)
- Retired astronaut Alan Poindexter dies in Fla. water craft accident (cbsnews.com)