GADSDEN, Ala. (WHNT) — A man is dead and a child was taken to the hospital after a boating accident Saturday evening.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said Marine Patrol troopers on Neely Henry Lake in Gadsden responded to the I-759 bridge just before 5:15 p.m.
“Two people were on the tube and had in fact struck one of the piers that hold the bridge up,” said Will Reed, the Gadsden Fire Chief.
Upon arriving, troopers discovered an inflatable raft being pulled by a waterborne vessel had collided with a concrete bridge support.
Benjamin Dale Owens, 35, was injured in the accident, later dying from his injuries.
An 11-year-old child was also injured and taken to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Alabama Marine Patrol.
With Memorial Day weekend around the corner, first responders are urging everyone to be careful.
“There will be a lot more boats on the river and a lot more inexperienced boaters on the river,” said Reed. “And you’ll have the addition of a lot of intoxicated boaters on the river. So we encourage everyone to keep other boaters in mind. Know the proximity of other boaters, make sure they know the boating rules and not use alcohol when operating a boat.”