Some Identities Released in Boating Accident
Stephen Blake Jones of Duluth killed. Woman reported in serious condition after apparent two-boat collision in the dark early Sunday on Lake Lanier.
Updated 11:30 a.m. Monday:
11Alive TV News reported Monday that the man killed in a boating accident on Lake Lanier early Sunday (April 22) has been identified by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources as 59-year-old Stephen Blake Jones of Duluth.
Jones and a woman, who was seriously injured in the accident, were in a 32-foot pontoon boat reportedly struck by a ski boat just after midnight on the lake.
The name of the injured woman has not been released yet. She remains hospitalized with injuries.
Steven Parker, 32, and Ashley LeBlanc, 30, both of Cumming, were crossing the lake in a 21-foot ski boat when the accident occurred, according to the 11Alive TV report.
Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services and other agencies responded to a report of the boating accident.
The boat collision is believed to have occurred approximately 200 yards from the face of the dam back toward Lower Overlook Park inside Gwinnett County.
Capt. Tommy Rutledge of Gwinnett Fire/EMS reported that authorities received a 911 call from a passing motorist on Buford Dam Road.
The Cumming couple's boat reportedly struck an unknown object in the water. When they realized that their boat was damaged and was taking on water, they decided to swim for shore to get help, Rutledge reported.
They climbed a bank to nearby Buford Dam Road and flagged down a passing motorist. According to responders, the two were wearing life jackets when firefighters arrived. The man and woman were transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation of minor injuries, then treated and released.
Then, the search immediately began for the second vessel and anyone who might have been in distress in the water. Rescue boats from DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Forsyth Fire were deployed. Assistance was also requested for air support provided by the Gwinnett Police Aviation Unit. Jones' body was found in the water within the first 30 minutes of the search.
Authorities located the second boat around 5 a.m. Sunday in the Shoal Creek area of the lake near East Bank Park. The injured woman was found aboard the damaged vessel.
The accident scene was turned over to DNR Officers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for investigation.
Investigators would not say whether safety lights were on or drugs or alcohol were involved in this case, according to the 11Alive TV report.