A collision with a boat takes the life of a man | New



A Putnam County man fishing on Lake Sinclair in neighboring Baldwin County died Wednesday afternoon from injuries sustained in a collision involving two boats, state and local authorities said.

The collision claimed the life of the man on his 80th birthday.

According to Sgt. Bubba Stanford, a state game ranger in the Law Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Baldwin County Deputy Coroner Ken Garland has identified the deceased victim as George Ralph Harper, of the 700 block of Madison Road, Eatonton.

Garland said rescue measures, including CPR, had been taken. Harper was then taken to the emergency department at Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin Hospital in Milledgeville where he was pronounced dead at 2:44 p.m.

The deputy coroner said Harper died from multiple blunt trauma.

The victim’s son, John, is a longtime deputy sergeant in the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.

A passenger on Harper’s boat, Sonny Poole, also from Eatonton, was not injured, Stanford told The Union-Recorder.

Stanford said Harper was thrown from his 16-foot Lowe boat after being struck by an 18-foot Phoenix bass boat operated by Richard Reed, 64, of Lizella.

Reed was not injured.

The collision is still under investigation by MNR’s Critical Incident Reconstruction Team (CIRT), according to Mark McKinnon, MNR public affairs officer.

A preliminary investigation by game wardens determined that the operator of a ship exited a creek and began to accelerate, but was not going fast enough for the boat to hover, McKinnon said by mail electronic.

“The arc was still high enough to obscure the operator’s view. As a result, the operator did not see an idling fishing boat nearby.

McKinnon said once the operator saw the fishing boat, he attempted to pull away but was unable to avoid a collision with the fishing boat.

The game wardens were assisted by assistants and detectives from the Baldwin County and Putnam County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as the Baldwin County Fire Department, Grady Emergency Medical Services and the Coroner’s Office. of Baldwin County.


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