Wildlife officers say they're not sure why a driver of a boat made a sudden turn, striking one of the concrete supports on the Atlantic Beach-Morehead City bridge Tuesday afternoon.
Three Newport men on the boat were injured and the 20 foot recreational boat received major damage to its hull.
Bonnar Williams, who was driving the boat, is in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital. Two other men, Larry Linder and Anson Jacobs, were sent to Carteret General Hospital with rib injuries. Linder was released Wednesday morning.
Wildlife officer Cliff Lanier says the boat was headed in a westerly direction under the bridge when at the last minute Williams made an abrupt turn to the right. Lanier said alcohol was not involved and he speculates that Williams may have had some type of health problem.
A man remains in critical condition after a boat crash in Carteret County sent three people to the hospital.
Mary Fowler--says she witnessed the accident Tuesday afternoon. Fowler--who is a server at the Chanel Marker Restaurant in Morehead City says she arrived for work when she saw a boat crash into the bottom of the Atlantic Beach--Morehead City Bridge around 4:00.
Fowler rushed inside the restaurant and called authorities. Officials say three people were injured--two of them suffered minor injuries but the captain of the boat remains in critical condition at Pitt County Memorial Hospital after authorities say he was impaled by the steering wheel of the boat and suffered a severe laceration on his ankle. Fowler describes the horrifying ordeal.
The U.S. Coast Guard was called to help extract the man from his boat. The boat is described to be a 20-foot recreational flatbottom which is currently being held at the portside marina. Officials from the North Carolina Wildlife are conducting an investigation.
According to fire officials, a 20-foot recreational boat hit the Atlantic Beach-Morehead City bridge after 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, near the "Channel Marker" restaurant.
Three people were on the boat. Two were taken to Carteret with minor injuries. One was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.
Officials say the critically injured man was the captain of the boat, and he had to be extracted from the boat because he was impaled by the steering column.
The boat has been handed over to the North Carolina Wildlife officials for investigation.
The scene is cleared, and traffic is not affected on the bridge.