Ohio River boating accident kills 1

From local sources

EUREKA — A boating accident on the Ohio River resulted in the death of a Warrick County man Sunday and the arrest of his boating companion.

Killed in the accident that occurred just before 6 p.m. CDT was Garrett G. Ward, 19, of Boonville, according to Indiana conservation officers.

Ward and some friends had boated to an area of the Ohio River known as the French Islands, which are about 2 miles south of the Spencer County community of Eureka and are a popular spot for pleasure boaters.

Conservation officers said the 24-foot-boat beached on the lower end of the south island. The boat, driven by Christopher P. Payne, 22, also from Boonville, attempted to leave the island just before 6 p.m. CDT.

As Payne began to back away from the island, Ward became entangled in the boat’s propeller causing severe injuries. The victim was taken to the beach, according to authorities.

The Spencer County Sheriff’s Department was notified of the accident at 5:56 p.m. CDT.

Authorities said Ward was pronounced dead at the scene by the Daviess County, Ky., Coroner. An autopsy was to be conducted today.

Law enforcement determined alcohol was a factor in the incident. Payne was arrested and lodged in the Spencer County Jail on a Class C felony count of boating while intoxicated causing death.

Conservation officers said the incident is still under investigation. When the case is concluded, findings will be forwarded to the Spencer County Prosecutor’s Office for review and consideration of further charges.

The Spencer County Emergency Management Agency’s water rescue unit, Spencer County Emergency Medical Services, the Daviess County, Ky., Sheriff’s Department and the Spencer County Coroner’s Office also assisted.

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