EXCLUSIVE: Family and witness recount boat accident at Lake Oliver Marina

EXCLUSIVE: Family and witness recount boat accident at Lake Oliver Marina
(Source: WTVM)

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The Georgia Department of Natural Resources confirms no drugs, alcohol, or mechanical issues caused a boat accident at Lake Oliver Marina Wednesday afternoon. All seven people on board the boat were sent to the hospital.

Two of the children remain in Atlanta with severe injuries.

People said it happened so quickly. One minute the family was coming in from a short trip on the water, the next minute they were airborne and crashing into the marina. Luckily, everyone on board is expected to recover from their injuries.

A normal day on the water turned into one Courtney Bryan will never forget. She said the clouds got darker, so her family decided to come back to land after only 20 minutes on the lake. The manager of Lake Oliver Marina said what happened next will be etched in her mind forever.

“And the boat was coming in at a high rate of speed, and we knew something was wrong," said Angie Denamur. "So, we started telling him to slow down. So, it looked like he was going to come through the marina and by the time he hit the bank, he went airborne and I come running out the door. I was the first one to get to them.”

The driver, his two daughters, and four grandchildren were all taken to the hospital. Today, the mother of the four children said something medical impacted her father and he blacked out.

“He doesn’t remember any of it, at all," Bryan said. "I mean, even beforehand. I mean, I understand, I’m actually a nurse, and I didn’t think he understood any of it. Today, he’s really sore but more than that he just feels horrible and really guilty.”

Bryan said her father had no underlying medical conditions that may have caused the accident. She said he was an active coach and was on no daily medication.

Bryan said they’re waiting for test results to fully understand why her father wasn’t responsive as they were speeding toward the shore.

“Well, it’s one of those things. My dad is about the safest person you’ve ever met. I mean, everyone wears a life jacket and even at home only one person on the trampline at a time. He’s just that kind of person.”

Two children remain in an Atlanta hospital, but they are expected to recover.

The family did have their poodle on board when the accident occurred. It took witnesses a few hours to find Gatsby but he was reunited with family and checked out by a vet.

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