Retired astronaut Alan Poindexter was killed in a tragic jet-ski accident when his 26 year-old son crashed into him off the coast of Pensacola Beach, reports The Pensacola News Journal.
51 year-old Captain Alan G. Poindexter had been riding jet-ski’s in Little Sabine Bay with his family when the accident occurred. 22 year-old Samuel Poindexter was sitting on the back of his fathers jet-ski when they decided to sit idle in the water for a few moments. While they were sitting still, Poindexter’s 26 year-old son Zachary violently crashed into them on a separate jet ski after apparently not seeing his father and younger brother.
Zachary hit the rear of the jet ski the father and his brother were on,” said Stan Kirkland of the Florida Fish and Wildlife.
“Capt. Poindexter was then knocked off his jet ski.”
Yahoo reports that the 51 year-old astronaut was immediately pulled into a boat and driven to the beach where friends attempted CPR. Poindexter was then airlifted to a local hospital where he later died due to injuries sustained in the crash.
Neither of the astronaut’s sons suffered any serious injuries.
Captain Alan G. Poindexter graduated with highest honors from Georgia Tech in 1986 with a degree in aerospace engineering.
After serving as a Naval Aviator starting in 1988, Poindexter was then selected by NASA and began training in July of 1998. He was selected to pilot the STS-122 mission that delivered the European Space Agency’s Columbus Laboratory to the International Space Station in February 2008.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Agency is currently investigating the tragic crash.