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Boats collide on lake at night
Investigation continues into two-boat crash on Lake Anna Saturday night that caused serious injuries

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Date published: 8/5/2009

By DAN TELVOCK

A late-night, two-boat collision that seriously injured four people Saturday on Lake Anna was the worst Bill Robertson has ever seen.

"I didn't know at the time that two boats were involved," said Robertson, a 52-year-old security guard at Lake Anna Marina.

Robertson and two men with BoatUS, a private insurance, towing and emergency support company, were the first to respond to the crash between 11 and 11:30 p.m. near Brumleys Point, south of Lake Anna Court in Spotsylvania County.

"I knew it had to be bad because of the noise. It was just so loud," he said.

Robertson saw a Sea Ray motorboat traveling at a high rate of speed turning out of the mouth of Sturgeon Creek, before striking almost head-on an idling Mariah boat.

"From what I've seen, and I've been boating for about 30 years or better, it looked like to me they were going at least 40 to 50 mph when they went into that curve," Robertson said of the Sea Ray.

Leonhardt Anderson, a Department of Game and Inland Fisheries officer, said the Sea Ray was occupied by a driver and passenger, both males in their 30s or 40s, from Hanover County.

Robertson said two men and a woman, possibly in their 20s or early 30s, were in the Mariah. They were pulling a fourth person on a wake board. Anderson said the occupants are from the Northern Virginia area.

Robertson said four of the six people involved appeared to be seriously injured.

One woman remains in a hospital with severe head trauma, Anderson said.

Anderson was reconstructing the wreck yesterday and said it could be two weeks before the investigation wraps up. He said he found some violations, but no charges have been filed yet. He said alcohol was a factor in the crash.

There is no speed limit on Lake Anna. Jet Skis and wake boarders aren't supposed to be on the lake after dusk, Robertson said.

Robertson said he was untying his boat to rush to the scene when the Sea Ray came speeding back to the marina in a no-wake zone.


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OTHER INCIDENTS

In June 2006, a Spotsylvania girl was seriously injured while water tubing on Memorial Day. The 12-year-old girl suffered a traumatic brain injury after she was swung into a dock on Wendy Hill Court.

In June 2005, a 22-year-old Arlington man was killed on Memorial Day weekend when his Jet Ski collided with a fishing boat.

--The Free Lance-Star archives

STATE BOAT CRASHES

In Virginia during 2007, the most-recent year for which statistics are available, there were 145 boating wrecks, six of which involved alcohol. One person died.