QUINCY, W.Va. — A Kanawha County man was in critical condition Monday afternoon after the boat he was riding in collided with a barge in the Kanawha River near Quincy late Sunday night.
Investigators with the state DNR Police Department said Blake Snodgrass of Gallagher was the most seriously injured of the four who were boating at about 10 p.m. Snodgrass was in the ICU at CAMC.
Investigators said Steven Garrison, 22, of Winifrede, was at the controls when the 17-foot pleasure craft struck a barge moored along the riverbank just downstream from the Chelyan Bridge in the area of the Quincy Terminal.
“They had put their boat in at the boat ramp in Chesapeake,” said DNR Police Sgt. Jerry Payne. “They were coming back down to the boat ramp when they struck the barge.”
Also on board were Nicole Garrison of Winifrede and Mary Snodgrass of Gallagher. Steven and Nicole Garrison and Mary Snodgrass were treated and released from CAMC. Sgt. Payne said one of the female passengers was thrown into the water after the impact, but they managed to get her back on board.
“It was pretty severe,” Payne said of the collision. “It didn’t sink the vessel, they were still able to start it back up and come across the river where they got out, but it was still a pretty severe strike.”
Payne said although investigators found empty beer bottles on the boat, there’s no indication at this time the driver was impaired. He said all indications are both the barge and the pleasure boat had the proper lights in place and working at the time of the crash. He added the operator indicated he was doing about 25 miles an hour when he struck the barge.