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Boy who died after wreck in lake IDd
10-year-old Virginian was visiting friends
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Authorities continue to investigate the death of a 10-year-old northern Virginia boy, who was killed last week when he was struck by a personal watercraft on Lake Lanier.

Conor Tierney died July 3 from head and body injuries suffered in the collision, according to Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden.

A student at Franklin Sherman Elementary in McLean, Va., Tierney and his family were visiting friends while on vacation in Dawson County.

Rescuers said Tierney and his 13-year-old brother were riding separate personal watercrafts when the incident occurred about 2:45 p.m. on the Chestatee River arm of Lake Lanier in Dawson.

Officers with the Department of Natural Resources and Dawson County Emergency Services handled the emergency call, which came from a residence on Stone Cliff Cove Drive off of Nix Bridge Road.

Both Tierney and his brother were wearing life jackets, according to Dawson County Emergency Services Battalion Chief Milton Keller.

Both were also riding alone when the collision occurred, Keller said.

Rick Lavender, spokesman for the DNR, declined to comment on the possibility of charges in the case, which he said remains under investigation.

"There are laws for PWC operators and there are different laws that are for riders," Lavender said. "We have not said at this point, as it is part of the investigation, who was operating what."

Children under age 12 are prohibited from riding personal watercraft alone in Georgia, according to guidelines listed on DNR's Web site.

Children ages 12 to 15 can operate a personal watercraft alone once they pass an approved safe boating course and are accompanied by or under direct supervision of a competent adult.

Keller said an adult and several other children saw the collision occur and were able to pull the child out of the water onto a boat dock.

Tierney was drifting in and out of consciousness when emergency personnel arrived, about eight minutes after the 911 call, Keller said.

"He had a large bump in the middle of his forehead, which was the only obvious injury we saw when we arrived," he said.

The child was flown to an Atlanta children's hospital, where he died that evening.

Ed McDonald, an assistant Boy Scout leader in Virginia, described Tierney as "enthusiastic and full of life."

"He was a great kid," he said.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at Daniel's Funeral Home in Rome.

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