One witness recalls the tragic accident at River Road Campgrounds, three miles north of Oregon, where 32-year-old Megan Wells was ejected from a pontoon boat after a deadly collision with a fishing boat last night.
“They were screaming: Megan! Megan’s in the water! She’s right there! So, I just shut it down and we floated up. Tommy was at the front of my boat and he said ‘do you see her?’ And we’re looking at the debris and he says ‘there, she is right there,’ and Tommy was in the water. Boom, he got her,” said Witness Tom Westling.
Wells died after arriving at Swedish American Hospital. The other passengers in the pontoon boat, David Daily, Phillip Lukes, and Sherry Bushre, were all treated for serious injuries.
Oregon residents Mark Mongan and Nicholas Lamb, who were in the fishing boat, were transported to Rockford Memorial Hospital for serious injuries as well.
Al Overton is the owner of River Road Campgrounds. He says it’s an accident that could have been avoided.
“It was certainly something that never should have happened, with the impact and the velocity of what that boat was traveling, to be ejected from the back of the boat like that in broad daylight,” said Overton.
Ogle County Sheriff Brian VanVickle agrees. “This isn’t very common for us,” he says. “It’s just a testament to people on the river, that they take this seriously and pay attention, and make sure everyone comes home safe. Tonight that didn’t happen.”
The cause of the accident is under investigation.