Accident on Kenai River totals boat; no one injured

Posted: Wednesday, July 30, 2003

A Kenai man and four passengers escaped serious injury Saturday afternoon when a speeding boat crashed into and over his fishing boat on the Kenai River near Eagle Rock.

Jeff Anderson said he, his two sons and his daughter and her friend were in shallow water in his 18-foot Starcraft making a minor boat motor repair when "this boat came right over the top of us."

Jerry Stinson, 49, of Soldotna, driving a Valco aluminum boat, apparently did not see Anderson's vessel, according to Fish and Wildlife Protection Troopers, and plowed right into the front left end, traveling up and onto Anderson's boat.

"Just as I finished fixing the motor, I turned in my seat and saw him coming right at us," said Anderson.

"I yelled, 'Duck!' and the girls jumped to the bottom of the boat," he said.

Anderson's 23-year-old daughter and her friend had been riding in the bow seats and dove to the deck of Anderson's boat as it was hit. The daughter suffered a bump on her head and the other girl received a bump on her leg, according to Anderson.

Anderson's 22-year-old son was riding in the seat in front of the driver's console and his 20-year-old son was in the back of the boat with Anderson. The three males were uninjured in the collision, but Anderson hurt his shoulder while pushing Stinson's boat off his.

Stinson and a juvenile passenger in his boat were not injured.

After the incident, Stinson and Anderson exchanged name and address information and Anderson managed to get his boat safely back to the Eagle Rock boat launch.

Tuesday, he said the boat was a total loss.

Trooper Brent Johnson said no citations have been issued at this time and said his investigation into the cause of the accident is continuing.

"We're coming to the end of the busy season on the river, and people need to pay attention to other boaters," Johnson said.

"They need to be aware of what others are doing and what you're doing," he said.

"Be careful and be courteous to other boaters."

Anderson, who said he has fished commercially out of Bristol Bay for 26 years, has never seen anything like Saturday's accident.

He said all boaters need to keep their attention on what they're doing.

"I took my eyes off the river for one second and this happened," he said.

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