By KMOV Staff
FENTON, Missouri (KMOV) — Missouri Highway Patrol is investigating what caused a deadly boat crash in the Meramec River Saturday night.
Corporal Dallas Thompson said the boat, occupied with six passengers, hit a rock protruding from the water just after sunset at George Winter. The boat did not capsize and no one was ejected, but all passengers were thrown around inside the boat. According to Thompson, 34-year-old Milos Marjanovic , of Brookfield, Illinois, died and the five other passengers were transported to the hospital with serious and critical injuries.
“The force from striking the rock caused all the people in the boat to be thrown about the boat and the blunt force trauma on one of the victims caused him to be fatally injured in the crash,” Thompson said.
MSHP is still investigating what caused the crash. Thompson said the marine division conducts routine patrols checking for lifejackets and intoxicated drivers. However, after several recent deadly incidents on the Meramec River, officials will focus patrols on dangerous areas on the river.
“The guys are going to focus on the areas where we know we’ve been having problems, the area of the Meramec where we’ve had drownings this year,” Thompson said. “We’ll look at past years and find where we’ve had crashes and drowning accidents but make sure the troopers will focus on those areas and make sure people are being safe.”
In the last two months, two teenagers have died while swimming in the Meramec River. Neither teenagers were wearing life jackets. Thompson said the six people onboard the boat that crashed Saturday night were not wearing life vests either.
News Four uncovered there have been 29 water-related deaths in Missouri so far this year. A total of six incidents happened in rivers, lakes and ponds in the St. Louis area. Thompson said most individuals involved in those incidents were not wearing life jackets.
“The best thing you can do is have a life jacket on,” Thompson said. “We stress it all the time in cars, the safest thing to do is wear your seat belt, on a motorcycle wear a helmet and the same holds true in the water – if you’re in a boat and plan to go swimming make sure you have a life jacket on you because a lot of time accidents happen so quickly on the water you don’t have time to get that life jacket.”
Missouri Highway Patrols does not have swimming or boating curfews on the Meramec River. However, proper boat lighting is required for boaters who choose to be out on the water after dark. News Four is waiting to find out the conditions of the other five passengers involved in the boat crash Saturday night.
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