Reporting Derek Valcourt
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—A speed boat slams into a pier near the Key Bridge. Now we’re learning more about what went wrong and the people hurt.
Derek Valcourt has the latest on what the Coast Guard is saying.
Authorities say there were a number of factors involved in the crash. DNR Police are waiting for test results to determine if the driver of the boat was operating under the influence of alcohol.
The frantic call for help came seconds after the 40-foot Sea Ray boat slammed into a concrete pier, crushing the boat’s bow and damaging the pier. The boat’s owner and operator 43-year-old Jerry Redman of Severn was injured along with two of his passengers—45-year-old Jeffrey Lehman of Pasadena and 52-year-old Patricia Hester of Severn. A fourth person on board—64-year-old George Wardner of Glen Burnie– was lucky enough to walk away unharmed.
Rescue crews credit a nearby fisherman with making the call for help.
“That good Samaritan last night probably saved some lives,” said Lt. Com. Christopher Burrus, Coast Guard.
Officials say the boat was traveling at a high rate of speed outside of the established channel in limited visibility with radar off as it rounded the corner of the Patapsco River near Bear Creek and slammed head-on into the concrete.
“The impact of this at the speeds that they hit it was a strong impact,” said Captain Dale Plummer, tow boat operator.
Plummer towed the battered boat back to shore where it now sits covered at a nearby marina. He joins Coast Guard officials in recommending boats be armed with life vests and boaters be armed with information in case of an emergency.
“Every good Samaritan’s ability to provide assistance immediately helps save lives just as fast, probably faster than we can get on the scene,” said Burrus.
Two of the four people on board that boat are still in the hospital with serious injuries.