PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – One of the two people who were hit by a boat while on an innertube on the Willamette River Monday has died from his injuries, the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.
The sheriff’s office did not release the victim’s name, but said he is a 20-year-old man from the Brooks area.
The other person who was injured is younger than 18 and is still receiving medical treatment.
The investigation is still ongoing, but the sheriff’s office said Thursday the boat driver who struck the two people is a 17-year-old from the Brooks area. The operator has a valid Oregon Boater Education card and the operator’s parent, who also has a valid Oregon Boater Education card, was on board at the time.
The operator was driving a 1994 Four Winds, 17-foot fiberglass boat. The boat was not displaying a decal for the Towed Watersports Education Program. The sheriff’s office said neither the operator, nor the adult on board, nor the boat owner have applied for a Towed Watersports Education Card, which Oregon state law requires.
Both people who were hit by the boat while riding the innertube were wearing personal flotation devices.
The crash occurred near Rogers Landing in Newberg at around 4 p.m. Investigators told KOIN 6 News the boat was towing two people on an innertube when it turned and overcorrected, running the two people over.
“The boat was actually towing the two inner tubers behind them and they ended up turning in one direction and then corrected back the other direction which swung the innertube around,” TVFR’s Kim Haughn said.
One rider who suffered life-threatening injuries was airlifted to the hospital. The other was taken to a hospital in an ambulance.
Officials said one of the victims is related to the person who was driving the boat at the time.
“They were all known to each other so this was absolutely devastating and our hearts go out to everyone involved and everyone that witnessed it too,” Haughn said.
Signs along the boat ramp at Rogers Landing in Newberg warn of new laws passed this year for the Newberg Pool, requiring operators to have a towed watersports education card and motorboat certificate. Officials say the person operating the boat at the time of the accident was properly licensed but did not have much experience towing a tube.