Boat, jet ski crash in lake

2013-07-08T11:55:00Z 2013-07-08T23:24:58Z Boat, jet ski crash in lakeStan Maddux Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
July 08, 2013 11:55 am  • 

LAPORTE | Authorities are trying to determine Monday who was driving a boat that crashed into a jet ski on Pine Lake in LaPorte and fled.

The day after the crash, officers located the suspected boat littered with empty beer cans and cups, according to LaPorte County investigators.

About 7 p.m. Saturday, officers were called by Daniel Ragusa, who told investigators he and his son were on the backseat of the jet ski idling near the buoys marking the beach along Waverly Road.

Ragusa, of Oak Lawn, Ill. told authorities a red and white boat hit the front left corner of his 2013 Sea Doo personal watercraft. The impact was hard enough to throw Ragusa's son into the water.

The driver of the boat stopped and asked if everyone was okay as Ragusa jumped in the water to help his son back onto the jet ski. When Ragusa looked around, the boat was gone, authorities said.

There were fiberglass chips from the boat embedded in the jet ski, police said. No injuries were reported.

Officers searched the shoreline and the surrounding area but were unable to find the boat. The next day police located the boat on the south side of Pine Lake. Next to the boat was a woman, who told police the boat was owned by her father.

Police said the boat had an expired Illinois registration.

Indiana Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Shawn Brown said he'll speak to witnesses and conduct other investigative measures to try and reveal who was driving.

He said it would impossible to prove if the driver was intoxicated because of the boat fleeing.

Brown said misdemeanor charges of leaving the scene of a property damage accident and dangerous operation of a watercraft, along with citations are possible.

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