Five hurt in two more Fox River boating accidents
FROM STAFF REPORTS June 18, 2012 2:36PM
Updated: July 20, 2012 6:19AM
McHENRY COUNTY — Five people sustained minor injuries in two separate watercraft crashes on the Fox River over the weekend, said McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren.
At about 2:05 p.m. Saturday, he said, Scott R. Mattison, 37, of Crystal Lake, was operating a Kawasaki personal water craft on the river near the Fox River Grove picnic grounds. Nygren said Mattison was southbound on the river pulling two juveniles on a tube when he turned northbound and the tube he was pulling struck the mirror of a soutbound Polaris Wave Runner operated by Daniel Karalus, 52, of Oakwood Hills.
Both juveniles were ejected from the tube from the impact, authorities said; they suffered minor injuries but did not need further medical treatment. Mattison was cited with careless operation and overloading of water craft.
Then, at about 4:45 p.m. Sunday, a 17-year-old Crystal Lake resident was operating a 33-foot Baja Outlaw, under the supervision of his father, on the river near Haegers Bend in Algonquin. The Baja was traveling south on the river and a Kawasaki Jet Ski, operated by James Hochberg, 48, of Arlington Heights,was traveling north. The boat and the Jet Ski made contact, causing minor damage to both vessels, sheriff’s deputies reported. Hochberg and the two occupants of the Jet Ski were taken by the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District to Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, suffering from apparently minor injuries, deputies reported.
Undersheriff Andrew Zinke said the sheriff’s office’s marine division has investigated three crashes on the river in less than one week. (A teenager also crashed a boat into a pier in Fox River Grove last week, sustaining a head wound.) Two of the crashes involved juvenile operators. Zinke said alcohol or drugs were not factors in any of the crashes.
“With the warmer weather, there has been an increase of watercraft on the water,” Zinke said. “Operators are encouraged to use extra caution and be watchful of others while operating on the narrow, shallow river.”
Zinke noted that the U.S. Coast Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources offer boat safety courses. Information on them can be found at www.dnr.illinois.gov/safety/Pages/BoatingSafety.aspx.