One dead, six injured after boats collide on Georgia lake

Emily Swecker/WGXA

(MACON, Ga.) — One person is dead and six others injured, including one critically, after two boats collided on a Georgia lake Saturday, officials said.

A person has been charged with boating under the influence after allegedly fleeing the scene of the deadly early morning crash, officials said.

The incident occurred before 3:40 a.m. on Lake Tobesofkee in Macon, Mark McKinnon, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement division, said in a statement to ABC News.

All seven victims were aboard a pontoon boat when it collided with a “cigarette boat” occupied by two people, McKinnon said.

William Childs, 22, suffered an open head injury and was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Bibb County coroner Leon Jones told ABC News.

“I knew he was going to die,” Jones, who was in the hospital responding to a separate incident, said of the moment he saw Childs brought into the emergency department.

A woman in her early 20s was in critical condition in the intensive care unit with a head injury, Jones said.

The other five people on the pontoon boat sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

The two people aboard the cigarette boat were not injured in the crash, officials said. They allegedly abandoned the boat and were found at a nearby residence, and the operator has been arrested for boating under the influence, McKinnon said. No further details on the arrest were provided.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Critical Incident Reconstruction Team is investigating.

Lake Tobesofkee, a recreational lake located just outside Macon’s city limits, has 35 miles of shoreline and is a popular spot for boating and fishing.

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.