VICTIMS IDENTIFIED: Boat Crash Kills Four
Four people died over the weekend after a boat crash on the Mississippi River and authorities are now releasing the names of the victims.
The two small boats crashed on the water near Burlington just before 2:00 a.m. Saturday. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says a jon boat operated by 20-year-old Joseph S. Schier of Burlington collided with a jon boat operated by 21-year-old Douglas C. Metcalf of Burlington.
Schier was the only occupant of his boat but the other boat held 11 people. Eight people were able to swim to shore and were taken to local hospitals. One person was injured critically.
The bodies of 21-year-old Matthew House, 22-year-old Jacob Boyd, 20-year-old Caitlyn Atchley, 21-year-old and Blake Eakins, all of Burlington, were located Sunday in about 10 to 12 feet of water 100 yards from where the accident happened.
The Iowa DNR says this accident can serve as a safety lesson ahead of the busy Memorial Day weekend. They say everyone in a boat should be wearing a life jacket, proper lights should be used after dark, and people need to be aware of other boat traffic.
Rescuers say no one was wearing a lifejacket on either boat.