Alan Poindexter Dies: Astronaut Killed In Tragic Accident

    July 3, 2012
    Amanda Crum
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Alan Poindexter, a former astronaut who worked with NASA, died on Sunday in a tragic accident on the water in Florida. He was 50-years old.

Poindexter and his sons were riding water scooters near Pensacola Beach when suddenly Poindexter stopped his craft, or perhaps the craft malfunctioned. His 26-year old son, Zachary, collided with him, and his scooter came up out of the water upon impact and hit Poindexter.

“They were both moving and for some reason Capt. Poindexter stopped his watercraft and Zachary for some reason didn’t see him stop,” said Stan Kirkland, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. “Zachary’s watercraft went up and struck Capt. Poindexter.”

Poindexter was thrown from his scooter, as was his other son, Samuel, who had been riding with him. When he was taken out of the water he was conscious and mentioned that his ribs were hurt; he later lost consciousness, however, and died at the hospital.

NASA posted a statement about Poindexter’s death on their Facebook page.

“The NASA family was sad to learn of the passing of our former friend, and colleague Alan Poindexter who was killed today during a jet ski accident in Florida. Our thought and hearts are with his family.”

Poindexter became an astronaut in 1998 and served in two missions for NASA: a Space Station run on Atlantis and the second-to-last spaceflight of the Discovery shuttle. Hailed as a “well respected leader” by the NASA team, he leaves behind a courageous legacy; however, one cannot help but think of his family now, especially his sons.

No word yet on their condition, though the coroner expects to have an official cause of death for Poindexter soon.

Image credit: NASA

  • http://WebPronews Cliff Kelley

    This is so sad- Such a tragedy when a man tries to have fun with his kids , and something like this takes a life. The reason I write is that I am a divorced dad of two wonderful children. A boy almost 18, and a daughter 16. My current wife and I are taking them to the beach next week.This will be the first time since 2006 that I have had my kids for more than a day at a time. I have worked hard to get my life straightened out to be able to take my children somewhere. I don’t have any watercraft to worry about, but never-the-less it scares you . God bless his family.

  • Deborah Bryan-Bator

    Tragic to hear of Alan Poindexter’s sudden death. These accidents don’t have to happen. I drive a city bus and have for 32 years. A little personal experience from my drivers seat,,when operating any motor powered vehicle,,be it car, bus, motorcycle,jet ski,boat lawnmower or even a small weed eater ,,,it’s a MUST,,to keep alert at ALL times,,,to have professional training before hand,,and most of all FOCUS – pay attention! My prayers go to Mrs.Poindexter family and friends.

    Psalms 121: 1-2 “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD who made Heaven and Earth.” And all of God’s people said,,,AMEN!

    Deborah Bryan-Bator
    Huntington, WV.,