DUNDALK, Md. (WJZ) — A tragic night on the water. Now police are recreating the events the led up to a deadly boating accident near the Key Bridge. Two women are killed.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren with a look at the dangers on the water, as boating deaths are on the rise.
We’ve already seen two more boating deaths than last year, and we’re still in the heart of summer.
It’s not clear if alcohol was involved in the accident. The driver has been tested. The results are not yet in. No one has been criminally charged.
The families of Windy Lawson, 41, and Kimberly Erwin, 45, are devastated.
Crews searched for hours before finding the two women, who died after the boat they were riding in hit a concrete piling near the Key Bridge, ejecting four of the eight on board.
A loved one wrote on Facebook: “I will miss you both so very much, I feel so empty and helpless right now… Tell Jesus to be helpful with our hearts because they are broken right now and long for the day we meet again.”
“Obviously, they did not see that concrete pier. At least, that’s what it appears at this point for whatever reason that we don’t know,” Major said Jerry Kirkwood, Maryland Natural Resources Police.
There have been 14 deaths on Maryland waterways just this year, surpassing all of last year.
In addition to the Key Bridge deaths over the weekend, another boater lost his life in Wicomico County and swimmers went missing in Calvert County.
Just last month, a speed boat struck a crowd on Kent Island, killing a seven-year-old girl.
“She just left to run around and swim. She was very, very sweet,” one woman said.
WJZ spoke to boaters who have spent decades on the water and noticed changes for the worse.
“You can go buy a boat out of a yard or a dealer and now you’re a boater. I think that’s kind of what’s happening,” said boater Michael Toy.
“There are now a lot more people on the water. And it ranges from extremely competent, careful, looking out for themselves and others to, unfortunately, just like the roads, some people shouldn’t be on the roads either,” said boater Andrew Fawthrop.
Now families in the tragedy by the Key Bridge are th4e latest ones reeling from what they thought was a fun night on the water.
“Every one of our accidents has something in common–and it’s that they never thought it would happen to them,” said Kirkwood.
Investigators are recreating that trip that started in Dundalk, went to Fells Point and then back to the Dundalk area, where that boat hit the piling near the Key Bridge.
Windy Lawson was a mother of three. Family members have not released funeral information for the victims.