Boating death leads to arrest

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SPENCER COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a boating accident on the Ohio River that resulted in the death of Garrett G. Ward, 19, from Boonville, Indiana.

According to investigators, Ward, along with some friends, boated Sunday afternoon to an area of the Ohio River known as the “French Islands” and had beached on the lower end of the south island. The Kentucky islands are a popular spot for pleasure boaters.

Shortly before 7 PM, the group decided to leave the island. As the boat, a 24 foot inboard-outboard watercraft, driven by Christopher P. Payne, 22, also from Boonville, began to back away from the island, Ward became entangled in the motor’s propeller causing severe injuries. The victim was taken to the beach.

The 911 call came in to the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office at 5:56 PM. The Spencer County Sheriff’s Office, Spencer County EMA Water Rescue, Rockport EMS, Daviess County Kentucky Sheriff’s Office, Daviess County Kentucky Coroner’s Office, Spencer County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Conservation Officers arrived at the scene.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the Daviess County Coroner. An autopsy is being conducted today.

Alcohol was determined to be a factor in the incident. Payne was transported to the Spencer County Sheriff’s Office and incarcerated for C Felony “Boating While Intoxicated Causing Death”.

The accident is still under investigation. Upon completion, the case will be turned over to the Spencer County Prosecutor’s Office for review and consideration for further charges.

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