FAIRMONT, W.Va. — Investigators with the West Virginia Natural Resources Police have located the boat involved in a hit and run on the Tygart River from Saturday evening. DNR Sgt. Mike Spangler said the crafted was located late Sunday night not far from the scene of the incident.
“The boat was actually in a slip at a small marina on the river. We chased down a lot of leads and were using various cameras along the river and some other things. We were in the process of getting a search warrant when the suspects came forward and turned themselves in,” Spangler told MetroNews.
MetroNews has learned the victim is Dalton Elliot, 22, of Bridgeport. Elliot formerly played football for Bridgeport High School and was a member of three state championship teams. He was swimming in the river with several other individuals when the incident occurred around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.
“The boat impacted the swimmer, then left the scene and made no attempt to render aid or anything,” said Spangler.
Friends pulled Elliot to shore and he was transported to Morgantown’s Ruby Memorial Hospital where he remained Monday with severe injuries after being struck by the boat’s prop.
“It was in the vicinity of a dock. That section of the river has a lot of docks and it’s not a real wide river to begin with. There’s lots of boating traffic through there on a busy weekend,” Spangler said.
However, he added the area where the incident occurred was not a No Wake Zone.
“The boat was under power and moving at a pretty good speed, but I can’t say the exact speed,” he said.
Investigators have not released the name of the boat’s operator, but say charges are pending as the investigation continues. In addition to the operator, there were three other individuals on the boat at the time of the incident. Spangler did not indicate if they might face charges.
“We got a lot of public response and help from the public. People were really trying to help us locate this person and I appreciate that. Also, just being a good witness and being observant of things going on around you. That’s very important,” he said.