DNR report cites alcohol, speed as factors in Fox River boat crash
OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office released video Thursday of a powerboat colliding with an evening cruise on the Fox River earlier this month. It also released the DNR crash report which identifies Jason Lindemann, 52, as the owner and operator of the powerboat and says alcohol and excessive speed were among several factors for the crash, which happened shortly before 10 P.M. on Saturday, July 9.
The video shows Lindemann’s four-engine powerboat pass in front of the waterway camera and then make a wide arc directly into the path of the On the Loos sternwheel boat. Both boats are rocked by the collision. The sternwheel boat drifts to the left of the camera while the powerboat continues floating to the right.
Passengers say the operator of the powerboat dimmed the lights while leaving the scene. Prosecutors say Lindemann left without asking if anyone on the larger boat needed assistance.
The DNR estimates the powerboat was traveling anywhere from 21 to 40 miles per hour when it crashed into the two-story paddleboat, which was traveling under 10 MPH.
The DNR crash report says there were 43 people on the sternwheel boat. Twelve suffered injuries that required treatment beyond first aid. One of them, a 48-year-old Oshkosh woman, was admitted to the hospital for a back injury. Most of the other injuries were sprains and strains of the back, legs, neck or shoulder.
The report confirms that Lindemann was the driver of the powerboat. Through the DNR report, we learn for the first time a passenger on his boat received medical treatment. A 57-year-old Oshkosh man suffered a back injury and cuts to the face.
The crash report says careless/reckless operation, alcohol use, excessive speed, improper lookout, navigation rules violation, and operator inattention all contributed to the crash.
Lindemann appeared in court last week and was released after posting a $10,000 bond. He was not arrested until Tuesday, three days after the crash. The DNR report says he was not given an alcohol test. In court last week, prosecutors said Lindemann was on a security camera prior to the crash drinking inside the bar he owns, Dockside Tavern. Lindemann’s attorney said it can’t be proven whether it was alcohol in the glass.
We’re still waiting for criminal charges and a criminal complaint to be filed with the court, so it’s unclear when Lindemann will make his next court appearance.
No charges have been recommended against any of the seven passengers riding in his boat.
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