TWRA officers are investigating a boating accident that occurred on Douglas Lake last night after a boat ran aground on an island injuring four people and ejecting one occupant.
Officers say that between 10:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., a 2011 23-foot Mastercraft being operated by Brandon Watson, 21, of Strawberry Plains was traveling upstream from Douglas Dam in the area of Harbor Crest Condominiums and Cowboy’s Seafood Restaurant when it struck one of the small islands near the TVA Big Island.
Witnesses on the shoreline reported hearing the crash and went to investigate finding the boat that had run aground with four people onboard, one of which had been ejected. Occupants who were injured in the incident include the operator as well as Blake Dutton, 21, of Knoxville, Emily Yow, 21, of White Pine and Taylor Creech, 19, of Dandridge, who was airlifted with serious injuries. Officers report that all involved were transported to UT Medical Center and are in stable condition.
A TWRA Investigator has documented evidence from the boat by using a 3D scanner and officers have released the boat back to the owner, who was not involved in the incident.
Records show that the boat’s operator had passed a TWRA Boating Education Course as required by state law.
The incident remains under investigation by TWRA.