L.D.W.F. INVESTIGATION CONTINUES FOLLOWING AUG. 9 BOAT ACCIDENT THAT CLAIMED FIVE LIVES

Release Date: 08/12/2008

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division personnel are continuing their investigation into the cause of the collision on Aug. 9 of two boats on Blind River that resulted in five fatalities and left one passenger in critical condition.


The accident, involving a 30-foot cabin cruiser and 20-foot runabout, occurred at approximately 5 p.m. near Alligator Bayou in St. John Parish.  There were six passengers on board each watercraft, including the operators.  Early reports, based on eyewitness accounts, indicate that the two operators apparently maneuvered to miss each other as they approached from opposite directions, rounding a bend in the river.


The deceased accident victims include: Ken Michael Horzelski, LaPlace, 22; Joshua William McNulty, LaPlace, 20; Chance Michael Millet, Lutcher, 25; Patrick Timothy McTopy, Jr., LaPlace, 23; and Stanley Borne, Jr., Reserve, 22.  Brandon Charles Prudhomme, LaPlace, 21, was hospitalized due to injuries sustained in the collision. All six were on board the 20-foot runabout.


Two of the six boaters in the 30-foot vessel were treated for minor injuries.


The operator of cabin cruiser was given a field sobriety and Intoxilyzer test at the scene and cleared of alcohol impairment.  Results of toxicology tests on the (presumed) deceased operator of the runabout are not yet available.                                                                                                                                                


LDWF and the Ascension, Livingston and St. John Parish Sheriffs Offices all participated in the search and recovery efforts following the accident.


For more information, contact Sgt. Rachel Zechenelly, 225-765-2984 or rzechenelly@wlf.louisiana.gov.


2008-224