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Watercraft Collides With Stone Wall, Youth Injured



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Watercraft Collides With Stone Wall, Youth Injured

By Andrew Gorosko

Emergency personnel responded to a boating accident in which a personal watercraft carrying two youths crashed into a stone wall on the shoreline of Lake Zoar near 116 Underhill Road in the Riverside section on the morning of September 26.

Town police referred the investigation of the 10:13 am incident to the state Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) marine enforcement division.

DEP spokesman Dwayne Gardner said September 30 that two girls under age 16 were riding on the watercraft when the accident occurred. He declined to identify the girls due to their age.

The accident remains under investigation to learn whether a driver error or a mechanical problem caused the collision, he said.

Such watercraft are small, powered boats upon which riders sit or stand. The compact boats which have saddles are operated by handlebar-mounted controls.

While traveling on Lake Zoar, the watercraft crashed into a stone wall and the driver was thrown from the watercraft by the impact, Mr Gardner said.  

The injured youth was then transported by emergency personnel to Danbury Hospital for treatment of  injuries, after which she was transported to an unspecified out-of-state hospital for additional treatment, he said. A report on her condition was not available.

DEP is investigating whether the watercraft was being used under the supervision of an adult as is required by state boating regulations, he said. Both girls had valid personal watercraft licenses, Mr Gardner added.

Town police said that the passenger on the watercraft was not injured in the collision.

Sandy Hook Fire Chief Bill Halstead said that both people who were riding the watercraft were local residents, with one being from Sandy Hook and the other from Newtown.

After they arrived at the scene, firefighters provided first aid to the injured watercraft driver, Chief Halstead said. The injured girl was conscious and alert, he said.

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