Three Killed, Several Others Hurt in Lake Conroe Boat Accident

By: KHOU
By: KHOU
Divers have recovered the body of a woman who had been missing since a boat collision on a Southeast Texas lake.

Credit: KHOU-TV

CONROE, Texas - UPDATE:
Divers have recovered the body of a woman who had been missing since a boat collision on a Southeast Texas lake.

The recovery Wednesday of the body woman brought to three the death toll from the collision of a pleasure boat and a bass fishing boat on Lake Conroe late Tuesday. The Montgomery County Precinct 1 Constable's Office identified the dead as 30-year-old Leilani Cole, her 29-year-old sister Kristina Cole Frost and Frost's 9-year-old son Jason Frost.

Investigators are trying to determine what led to the 9 p.m. Tuesday crash. Leilani Cole died outright, her sister was missing until Wednesday and her nephew died Wednesday of his injuries.

Officials say the pleasure boat carried eight people, including the three who died. Two men in the fishing boat have minor injuries.

EARLIER STORY:
One person is missing and a woman and child are dead after a tragic boating accident on Lake Conroe, officials said Wednesday.

Several others were injured in the crash, which happened about a mile north of the lake's dam.

Lt. Tim Cade with the Montgomery County Pct. 1 Constable’s Office said a bass fishing boat collided with a recreational boat around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

There were eight people from multiple families on the recreational boat, and there were two adults on the fishing boat.

A source tells KHOU 11 News the bass boat was returning from a fishing tournament when it collided with the families’ boat. Both vessels were moving at the time.

The bass boat went over the recreational boat, seriously damaging both vessels and knocking eight people into the water. The operator and passenger in the bass boat immediately swam to assist the families, including small kids.

At the point of impact, a 30-year-old woman died at the scene. A 9-year-old boy was taken to the hospital by helicopter where he died Wednesday morning, Lt. Cade said.

A 29-year-old woman remained missing several hours after the incident, and a search resumed for her Wednesday morning.

The 45-year-old male operator of the fishing boat was also sent to the hospital by helicopter. A 10-year-old female was sent to the hospital and later released, and a 3-year-old female was still in the hospital in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon.

A 17-year-old male and a 13-year-old male on the rec boat were uninjured, said Lt. Cade.

On the bass boat, Lt. Cade said there were two people: a 34-year-old male passenger who was sent to the hospital and later released and a 43-year-old driver who was uninjured.

Sources tell KHOU 11 News the injured passenger was local country singer Josh Ward.

Ward’s representatives released this statement Wednesday: “Last night at around 9:00 PM Josh was a passenger on a boat that was involved in an accident on Lake Conroe. Josh was injured in the accident, but he was released from the hospital and will make a full recovery. We appreciate your thoughts, prayers, and concerns for Josh, however at this moment our hearts go out to the families who lost loved ones in this tragic accident. We are praying for all those that were injured and those individuals who did not survive.”

Authorities with Texas Parks & Wildlife Department authorities are recreating the incident as part of the investigation into what caused the collision.

“What you’re seeing right now is the actual reconstruction of the accident on the water,” said Lt. Cade. “Unfortunately one of the vessels was too badly damaged to stay afloat. We had to move the scene to dry land so we could reconstruct the scene here.”

Investigators said it's possible one of the boats did not have its lights on, but that information was not yet been confirmed. Lt. Cade also said it has not yet been determined if anyone was not wearing a life vest.

“This is a horrible tragedy,” said Lt. Cade.

Sources said alcohol did not appear to be a factor in the incident, and no alcohol was found on either craft.


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