Unmanned boat at northern Indiana lake slams into dock, seriously injures four people

STEUBEN COUNTY, Ind. – Four people were seriously injured on Saturday at a lake in northern Indiana after being thrown from a boat.

Police were called to Lake Gage around 7:13 p.m. in reference to a serious boating accident.

According to witnesses, 10 passengers were ejected from a boat and four people were seriously injured.

Two people were flown via air ambulance to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne with a skull fracture and a partial lower arm amputation. Several others with less serious injuries were transported to Cameron Memorial Hospital in Angola.

The Ski Nautique motorboat which was involved in the accident was still unmanned and circling the lake at 30 miles per hour.

A DNR officer threw a rope from his patrol boat to the motorboat in order to entangle the propeller.

The boat struck a dock and hit the officer’s patrol boat, disabling it due to the impact.

The entangling rope eventually slowed the runaway boat.

The DNR officer jumped onto the runaway boat while both boats were still in motion. He then took control of the unmanned boat and stopped it.

According to investigators, Dominique Effinger, 20, of Fort Wayne, was operating the Ski Nautique at a high rate of speed when the boat made a violent turn, ejecting all 10 occupants of the boat.

The boat continued at a high rate of speed, unmanned around Lake Gage causing further serious bodily injury and property damage.

Domonique Effinger was arrested for boating while intoxicated causing injury and being a minor in possession of alcohol.

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