Man arrested after teenage girl hit by propeller after going overboard on boat
LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB/Gray News) – A teenage girl was killed Monday after falling off a pontoon boat into the Blind River.
According to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Madison Bradley, 17, and another male passenger were riding on the bow of the boat in front of the protective rail when they hit a wake from a passing vessel.
Both Madison Bradley and the man were knocked into the water.
Authorities say Madison Bradley did not resurface and suffered severe propeller strikes.
The man had minor injuries and should be OK.
“She had a whole life ahead of her, and the world has really lost something special,” said Mike Bradley, Madison’s father.
He and his wife, Leigh-Ann, are still trying to process what happened to their daughter.
“It’s just a tragic, tragic accident. I just can’t believe it that she was reckless and fell over. I mean, she should know better,” Leigh-Ann Bradley said.
David Crowe, the 33-year-old operator of the boat the victims were in, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, driving a vessel while impaired and reckless operation of a vessel.
“You have to be vigilant, obviously don’t drink and drive, but you have to be smart. I mean little things can turn tragic in a matter of seconds,” said LDWF Sgt. Randy Lanoux.
Lanoux points out how dangerous it is for anyone to sit in front of the safety rail. He says it’s a violation they often look for and write up.
“When you get forward of that safety rail, if you hit anything, even if a boat is idling you can subsequently fall off, and you can not shut that motor downtime you will get run over,” he said.
Madison Bradley’s parents say they wish Crowe was paying closer attention and not drinking.
“Like the driver, he should have been watching his speed and knowing that she is sitting on the edge with more awareness of what he was doing,” Mike Bradley said.
The parents say their daughter knew Crowe because he is her boyfriend’s older brother.
Crowe was released from the Livingston Parish Detention Center on a $101,500 bond, according to the jail.
According to officials, the penalty for a conviction on vehicular homicide is a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison. They added a DWI conviction brings a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. They also said a reckless operation of a vessel conviction carries up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.
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