So sad. Condolences to the friends and family.
In just this year alone there have been fatalities on the big south and the little white, as well as serious injuries on the embudo and the green. These creeks are all well known, frequently paddled creeks, and some of the more popular class V creeks in the country. It certainly highlights the risks and consequences of kayaking difficult whitewater.
The accidents involved several major hazards: logs, sieves, big drops onto rock, and punishing swims.
Its a brutal reminder that accidents can happen to anyone, anywhere. Judgement, skill, safety, and gear are part of the safety net that we all rely on to keep us safe on the river, but sometimes even those aren't enough and we hope we are lucky enough to make it out ok.
Sobering news that makes you think long and hard.