A recreational boating accident on Lake Conroe has led to three deaths. After two days of searching, KHOU News is reporting that divers have retrieved the body of the third victim who had been missing since the accident.
About the Triple Fatality Boating Collision
Divers have found the third victim in the tragic boating accident that took place Tuesday, July 1 in Lake Conroe, Texas. The body of 29-year-old Kristina Marie Frost had been missing since the accident, which was responsible for two additional deaths. 30-year-old Leilani Rose Cole and 9-year-old Michael Jason Cole were both killed in the recreational boating accident.
The accident happened about a mile north of the lake’s dam when a bass fishing boat collided with the recreational boat around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. Both boats were moving when they collided. The cause of the collision is still unclear, so authorities with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department authorities are working on recreating the incident as part of the investigation in order to determine the cause of collision.
“What you’re seeing right now is the actual reconstruction of the accident on the water,” said Lt. Cade. “Unfortunately one of the vessels was too badly damaged to stay afloat. We had to move the scene to dry land so we could reconstruct the scene here.”
Investigators have stated that a possible cause for collision is one of the boats did not have its lights on, but that information is not conclusive. Lt. Cade has also said it has not yet been determined if any of the boaters were not wearing life jackets. However, it is reported that alcohol did not seem to be a factor in the accident, and there was no alcohol discovered on either boat.
“This is a horrible tragedy,” said Lt. Cade. There were a total of eight people on the recreational boat, but only a couple of those individuals were injured, not including the three fatalities. According to Lt. Tim Cade with the Montgomery County Pct. 1 Constable’s Office, the bass boat went over top of the recreational boat, causing serious damage to both boats as well as knocking eight people into the water. It is reported that the operator and passenger in the bass boat immediately swam to assist the families, including small kids.
Leilani Rose Cole died on the scene at the point of impact, whereas the young boy Michael Jason Cole was rushed to the hospital via helicopter, where he died on Wednesday morning. The third body, which was just found, Kristina Marie Frost, was discovered just past 1 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon by divers in 15 feet of water, near the debris.
On the bass boat, the 45-year-old male operator , a 10-year-old female and a 3-year-old female were all sent to the hospital via helicopter as well. The driver of the bass boat and the 10-year-old were released from the hospital, but the 3-year-old is last reported to be in the hospital but in stable condition.
On the recreational boat, the 43-year-old driver, a 17-year-old male and a 13-year-old male survived the accident uninjured, whereas a 34-year-old male passenger was sent to the hospital but later released. Sources tell KHOU 11 News the injured passenger was local country singer Josh Ward, and Ward’s spokespersons released the following statement on Wednesday regarding the accident:
“Last night at around 9:00 PM Josh was a passenger on a boat that was involved in an accident on Lake Conroe. Josh was injured in the accident, but he was released from the hospital and will make a full recovery. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and concerns for Josh, however at this moment our hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones in this tragic accident. We are praying for all those that were injured and those individuals who did not survive.”
Boating Accident Statistics
The U.S. Coast Guard provides the following statistics about recreational boating accidents in 2013:
- Nationwide, 4,062 recreational boating accidents resulted in 506 fatalities, 2,620 injuries, and $39 million in property damage that year.
- In about 77 percent of deaths, drowning was the cause of death.
- An estimated 84 percent of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident.
- The leading contributing factor in fatal accidents was alcohol, accounting for 16 percent of fatalities.