UPDATED 10/22 to add names of the deceased: Ethel Fisher and Walter Fouts.
Two people are dead after a boat accident on the Parker Strip on Tuesday morning. It is the deadliest such incident in some time.
A 21-foot open bow jet boat with 6 occupants was traveling south on the river in front of Fox’s Resort & RV Park. Two occupants were sitting in the back, two were in the driver and passenger seat in the middle, and two were in the open bow seating at the front of the boat.
As the boat passed Fox’s, they decided to turn around, and at some point in the turn, the driver lost control.
“Unsure of the cause,” said La Paz County Sheriff’s Lieutenant of Boating Safety Donald Schlect. “But the driver may have lost steering or something. They hit a floating dock around 20 yards south of Fox’s bar, next to a launch ramp at the RV park.”
Buckskin Fire Department, La Paz County Sheriff’s Department and Arizona Fish & Game responded, but a female named Ethel Fisher sitting in the front died at the scene. A male passenger named Walter Fouts, sitting with her in the front, was taken to La Paz Regional Hospital, and while he was being loaded onto a helicopter also died.
The passengers were in their 70s and 80s, according to Schlect, residents of California who were staying at Echo Lodge.
“There was no sign of alcohol or other impairment involved. It was a straight-up collision with the floating dock.”
Schlect added that there was not a lot of external trauma, but internal injuries. The Sheriff’s Department continues to investigate the incident, which Schlect says is the first boating fatality the department has dealt with in quite some time.
However, boats running into docks on that stretch of the Colorado River is an issue, noted earlier this year when 3 separate boats ran into docks on the same weekend. Read about it HERE. The Sheriff’s Department Boating Division was speaking with the U.S. Coastguard earlier this year about the process of trying to establish the area as a no-wake zone.