Boat crash in Georgia kills five people, including family of four

Five people, including four members of the same family, died after two motorboats collided on a popular southeast Georgia river on Saturday.

Two people were found dead shortly after the collision on Wilmington river near Savannah. Four others were rescued and taken to the Memorial Health Special School Medical Centre, the US coast guard said.

Three other bodies, found in water about 14ft deep and close to each other, were pulled up by authorities on Sunday morning.

One of the boats had six people aboard, while the other carried three, authorities said. The crash took place around 10.30am local time on the river “near the Oatland Island Wildlife Center docks where Richardson Creek and the Wilmington River meet in Chatham County”.

The coast guard was informed about the crash by a “good samaritan” at 10.42am, via radio at VHF-FM channel 16.

The dead have been identified as Christopher David Leffler, 51, his wife Lori Lynn Leffler, 50, their children Nathan and Zachary, aged 17 and 23, and 37-year-old Robert Steven Chauncey. Mr Leffler was a faculty member of the Cavalry Day School in Savannah.

One of those who was rescued, 45-year-old Mark Christopher Stegall, has been charged with operating a boat while under the influence, and booked into Chatham County Jail, said Mark McKinnon of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Videos shared by authorities showed helicopters and boats pressed into the rescue operation airlifting a man with possible leg injuries out of the river.

The coast guard said at least one person was in a “good condition” but did not provide further information on the injuries.

This was the second incident involving a boat and serious injuries on the Wilmington river this month. A local businessman was killed on 5 May, when his boat struck an unlit channel marker near the Savannah Yacht Club and he was hit on the head by an unknown object.

#badjourno #twistednews

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