Investigation into cause of fatal boat crash on Tensaw River con - FOX10 News | WALA

Investigation into cause of fatal boat crash on Tensaw River continues

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The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is investigating what led to a fatal boating accident on the Tensaw River Saturday morning, March 30, 2018.  It happened during a bass tournament out of Live Oak Landing where a boat driven by one of the tournament anglers collided with another boat.  One driver was killed and his passenger air lifted to USA Medical Center with serious injuries. 

State investigators are trying to determine how a beautiful day of fishing on the river turned deadly.  It was a clear and sunny day on a wide part of the Tensaw River when investigators said two fishing boats traveling opposite directions collided.  Killed was Wayne Cox of Pace, Florida.  Troopers said Cox and his passenger, Lee Grandquest of Semmes were thrown from their boat on impact.  The driver of the other boat, Wesley Scott Freely of Atmore was not injured.

“We really are looking at the boats themselves…the transfer marks to kind of reconstruct not only the impact, but maybe what led up to it,” explained Lt. Ryan Bennett with ALEA.  “Unfortunately, the only witnesses are the people involved, still with some extensive injuries.”

In a public post on Facebook, Grandquest’s daughter said her father has broken ribs, a punctured lung and is bruised badly.  He’s still in the hospital being treated.  She also asked that everyone keep Wayne Cox and his family in their prayers and thanked other boaters on the scene for their help.  Jesse Peacock was fishing with his son nearby when the call came in for help.

“As we got closer, I could see two individuals laying in the water, three boats sitting in the area…two that were involved and a bystander boat that had heard the accident and came up on it,” Peacock recalled.  “We pulled up to the two and asked if everybody was alright.  The gentleman in the bass boat stated that I’m fine, help them.  One of the two in the water spoke up and said I’m hurt bad.”

Peacock is Baldwin County’s interim EMA Director and a former Alabama Marine Police Officer.  He and his son are also volunteers with the White House Fork Fire Department and had received a text notification of boaters in distress.  Peacock and his son went into the water and got Cox and Grandquest to shore.  They began CPR on Cox and got him back to the landing where medical staff was waiting.  After getting Grandquest on his way to help Peacock says that’s when he realized how severe the impact of the crash was.

“After Marine Police arrived on the scene, we looked around and I realized this is…seeing the point of impact of those two vessels, this is a very serious accident,” Peacock said.

Investigators said there was no alcohol involved in the crash and it’s unlikely that there will be any serious charges that follow.  They hope to have the investigation complete within about a week.  

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