2016-09-04 / News

Two hurt in boating accident

BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. investigators are trying to determine who was piloting an 18-foot boat that slammed into an embankment early Monday morning. Det./Sgt. Jason Parks said Beyers Towing Service had a difficult time pulling the boat back off the sandbank. 
Photos by Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. investigators are trying to determine who was piloting an 18-foot boat that slammed into an embankment early Monday morning. Det./Sgt. Jason Parks said Beyers Towing Service had a difficult time pulling the boat back off the sandbank. Photos by Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. MARATHON TWP. — Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. investigators still don’t know who was behind the wheel of an 18-foot 1989 Teka boat when it burrowed six feet into a sandbank on the Lapeer County side of the Holloway Reservoir about 1:45 a.m. Monday.

Apparently, longtime friends Christopher Guinther, 39, of Grand Blanc, and Kevin Collins, 40 of Lapeer, borrowed the boat from a friend on the Genesee County side of the reservoir about 9 p.m. the night before. Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept. Det./Sgt. Jason Parks said the crash site was less than two miles from where the men set out.

Parks said Guinther suffered injuries to his neck and spine, and may be paralyzed and Collins suffered a serious laceration to his arm. Both men remain hospitalized at McLaren Lapeer Region. Parks said he’s been unable to question either man, due to the severity of their injuries.

He noted that on impact, the boat’s speedometer pegged at 30 mph and the tachometer pegged at 4,800 rpm.

Alcohol, Parks said, is suspected to have played a part in the mishap. He said blood draws were done on both men at the hospital, but lab results could take several weeks.

Parks said Ron and Donita Ward, who live near the crash site on Bories Drive, told investigators they heard a boat motor revving at 1 a.m., but that’s not uncommon on the reservoir so they didn’t give it a second thought as they went to bed.

One of the men, Parks said, was able to call Central Dispatch minutes after the crash and a Marathon Township deputy was able to locate the crash scene within five minutes. First responders had to use ladders to make their way down the near vertical embankment to get to the injured men.


North Almont Avenue residents in Imlay City are again able to drive their street free of orange and white construction zone barrels for the first time in months. City officials closed the street again briefly for a ribbon cutting at noon Friday to mark completion of the $903,000 project. North Almont Avenue residents now have pristine pavement from Fourth Street to Capac Road. 
Photo by Phil Foley North Almont Avenue residents in Imlay City are again able to drive their street free of orange and white construction zone barrels for the first time in months. City officials closed the street again briefly for a ribbon cutting at noon Friday to mark completion of the $903,000 project. North Almont Avenue residents now have pristine pavement from Fourth Street to Capac Road. Photo by Phil Foley Initially deputies had no idea where the boat had come from so they checked the boat ramp near the old IGA store in Columbiaville and the Zemmer Park boat launch, with no success. Eventually they discovered the men had left a private residence near the Walleye Pike Boat Launch off Henderson Road on the west side of the reservoir.

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