Boating accident kills area resident
Published: Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 23, 2006 at 10:48 p.m.
A Gainesville man died Monday morning after the fishing boat he was riding in collided with a channel marker in the Steinhatchee River. The man operating the boat, also a Gainesville resident, was injured.
The victim was identified by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigators as Edward Raymond Ogle, 63 and the man driving the boat was identified as Retsae Henderson Miller, 69.
According to officials in Dixie and Taylor counties and the commission, the accident happened at 9:09 a.m. at Channel Marker 23 as the men were leaving the river for a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. They were in a 1999 model, 17-foot-long, Scout brand, flats-style boat that was powered by a 115 horsepower Yamaha outboard motor.
Witnesses told investigators that the boat was planing - going fast enough to skim across the surface of the river water - when the accident happened.
"What we understand happened is that the operator, Mr. Miller, did not see the channel marker and hit it on the right side in about the middle of the vessel," said commission spokeswoman Karen Parker. "The passenger, Mr. Ogle, was ejected. He hit the channel marker and landed back in the boat."
Parker said the preliminary investigation showed that Miller's view may have been blocked by a chair mounted in the front of the boat. Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, she said.
Ogle was taken to the public boat ramp at Jena where he was picked up by an ambulance crew. The weather had grounded medical helicopters Monday morning, Parker said, and Ogle was pronounced dead in an ambulance on the way to Gainesville.
Miller was also taken to a Gainesville hospital. His condition was unknown on Monday evening.
Karen Voyles can be reached at (352) 486-5058 or voylesk@ gvillesun.com.
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