TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) — Family and friends of a Tuscaloosa County bass fisherman are grieving. 64-year-old Danny Pate who was killed on Lake Tuscaloosa Saturday in a boating accident.
Mike Redding says Pate’s death hurts, as Redding has known Pate for thirty years and the two spent lots of time fishing together on Lake Tuscaloosa.
“Well I am hurt by it, Danny was a good friend and a good guy he helped everybody. He helped kids and older people. He was just an all-around good friend and if you had him for a friend you had a good one. For something like that to happen to him like this losing his life just hurts” Redding said.
Alabama State Trooper Freddie Ingram says Danny Pate was competing in a fishing tournament early Saturday morning when the accident happened. Pate was trying to guide his boat to his favorite spot on Lake Tuscaloosa and crashed into the Tierce Patton Bridge.
ALEA is trying to find out what caused the victim to crash. Trooper Ingram says this tragedy is a wake up call for safety on the lake.
“Just make sure you know your surroundings at all times, make sure you have a good lookout and make sure you have good lights, have a life jacket on and your kill switch. All the safety equipment is put in place to help save you so make sure you utilize all that. I am not sure that was a factor in this case but you can never be too safe”.
Andrew McDaniel works at L & L Marine in Northport. The boat store was one of Danny Pates favorite stores to shop for boats and equipment. McDaniel says his death is painful, he is best friends with the Pates grandson.
“Its pretty tragic, anyone who passes away on the lake in the fishing community because everyone knows each other. Everyone knew Danny and it’s tragic and not good at all. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family” McDaniel said.
State Troopers say this is the second fatal water-related accident this year on Lake Tuscaloosa. Danny Pates family is planning to have a memorial fishing tournament to honor his memory.