Boat runs wild on IN lake, seriously injuring four; Driver arrested

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A high-speed boating accident on Lake Gage Saturday evening injured several of the boat's 10 occupants, Indiana Conservation Officers said.

Four people suffered serious injuries including a fractured skull, while another had to have part of their lower arm amputated.

The boat's driver, 20-year-old Dominique Effinger, was arrested by conservation officers for Boating While Intoxicated Causing and Injury and being a Minor in Possession of Alcohol.

When they arrived, they found several seriously injured people had been taken to shore by other boaters so EMS and fire units could treat them, the report said. Other injured people were taken to Cameron Memorial Hospital in Angola for treatment of less serious injuries.

According to DNR Spokesman James Price, while the boat was seen circling at a high speed as it neared the shore, Conservation Officer Jake Carlile immediately threw a rope around the boat's propeller in order to slow down the out-of-control vehicle.

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Carlile was able to toss a rope into the water and entangle the runaway boat's propellor, according to the press release.

"One of the most important things for anybody out on the water during the summer is that obviously life jackets do not work unless you wear them and alcohol and water don't mix", said Carlile. The boat struck a dock and diverted its direction into the rear of the patrol boat Carlile was operating, disabling the patrol boat's motor due to the impact.

At approximately 7:13 p.m. on Saturday night, a 20-foot boat being driven by Fort Wayne resident Dominique Effinger, 20, went into a violent turn and threw ten people overboard.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

The Indiana officer who finally brought an out-of-control boat to a stop said the incident shows just how risky drunken boating can be.

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