Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Firecrackers head coach, Jason Clark, 39, killed, his wife and daughter injured in a boat collision accident on Lake Conroe, Texas

CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- A boat heading into shore on Lake Conroe collided with another vessel, leaving a father dead and his wife and 10-year-old daughter injured.

Authorities said 39-year-old Jason Clark of Magnolia died at the scene after the crash, which happened off the coast near North Diamondhead Road. A call of the incident came in at 9:22 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Montgomery County Judge Wayne Mack, who was on the scene, both vessels were moving at the time of the collision. It's unclear how fast they were going.

Clark was sitting at the steering wheel of his boat and was directly hit, resulting in critical injuries. He later died at the scene. His wife and daughter on the same vessel were also injured and taken to Conroe Regional Trauma Center. The woman was admitted and remains in critical condition, while the child was treated and released.

The impact of the crash caused the bass boat to roll over and eject the fishermen in the other vessel, who were later pulled from the water. The pair were wearing life jackets and escaped major injury, officials said.

Game wardens performed a field sobriety test on the fishermen, but they did not appear impaired, authorities said.

Investigators said both boats had the proper marker lights illuminated at the time. Officials added while the boats were lit in accordance with law, the amount of lights on the lake makes it hard to tell between boats and homes.

"It's very difficult to see moving watercraft across that lake because across the horizon, especially in a busy creek like that, you see all kinds of other lighting," Mack said.

Texas Parks and Wildlife crash reconstructionists, who specialize in boat crashes, are leading the investigation. Right now, no one has been charged.

We are brokenhearted to hear of the death of Firecrackers head coach, Jason Clark. Coach Clark was involved in a tragic boating accident on Lake Conroe. His wife and daughter were also on board. Thankfully, his daughter was unharmed. Unfortunately, his wife Sara is in critical condition. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Clark and Firecracker family. May healing and peace be with them all.

LAKE CONROE, Texas (KTRK) -- A boat heading into shore on Lake Conroe collided with another vessel, leaving a man dead and a woman and girl injured.

Authorities said a 39-year-old man died at the scene after the crash just off North Diamondhead Road. A call of the incident came in at 9:22 p.m. Tuesday.

According to officials, two fishermen on a bass boat were heading to the shore when it hit another boat with a woman, man and a 12-year-old girl on board.

The bass boat struck the center of the other vessel, hitting the 39-year-old man who was sitting at the steering console.

The bass boat continued to travel before rolling over and ejecting the fishermen.

The man on the other vessel sustained critical injuries at the scene. He later died. The woman and the girl were taken to Conroe Regional Trauma Center. The woman sustained critical injuries, while the girl had minor injuries.

The fishermen were pulled out of the water and not seriously injured. They were given a field sobriety test, but did not appear impaired, authorities said.

An investigation is underway into the crash.

While no one can doubt its serenity, what most people don’t know is Lake Conroe, which covers approximately 21,000 acres, is now considered the deadliest lake in Texas. According to KBTX, four boating-related have already occurred so far this year, which has made this lake the deadliest lake in Texas since 2000. Looking at the years 2000 until 2015, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has showcased that 22 individuals have died.

The next of the deadliest lakes in Texas are Lake Travis, which is northwest of Austin, as well as Lake Lewisville, in the Dallas area, both of which combine to have 17 boating-related deaths since 2000. Coming in fourth is Lake Palestine, in East Texas, with 16 overall deaths.

Overall, since 2000 the state of Texas has seen approximately 53 boating fatalities, and of those, 21 individuals were killed in 2014. As the above information works to show, there have been substantial fatalities in many Texas lakes, but a notable concentration in Lake Conroe. While it is imperative to keep in mind safety measure at each of these lakes, special consideration should be made for this lake in particular.

The report also indicates that these figures represent a rise in the number of overall deaths, even though there has also been an increased number of law enforcement on site, as well as resources surrounding boat education. However, the report does indicate that many of the deaths have involved alcohol.

In order to combat the issues of boating-related deaths in the area, Montgomery County is ramping its patrol efforts. The first step is to tackle the patrol vessels themselves, by replacing the engines on these boats in order for the Precinct 1 Constable’s office to be more proactive when the largest boating activity will be seen within the coming months. Reports indicate that these new engines will cost $26,000, which breaks down to $24,700 for the engines and $500 in order to install the engines.

The previous engines lasted approximately 4,000 hours spanning eight years of service, which is an impressive feat. With this in mind, it is projected that these new engines will last even longer. In addition to the new engines, combating the issue also includes focusing on boating safety by creating more patrols, increasing the Precinct 1 budget, additional equipment upgrades, and more safety checks on the boats that utilize the lake. These checks include ensuring life-preserving devices, lights, whistles, and fire extinguishers are all on board. To this extent, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, approximately 70% of all boating accident deaths could have been prevented if the proper life saving equipment, as such as those mentioned previously, had been on board.

With the  summer months upon us, patrol units and law enforcement alike are predicting a higher rate of boating. While this activity is a favorite past time of many, it is equally imperative to consider the safety measures that should be put into place in order to combat the title of the deadliest lake in Texas.