Three-Boat Collision at Joe Pool Lake; Boy, 12, in Critical Condition

By Elvira Sakmari and Mark Schnyder
|  Sunday, Jun 9, 2013  |  Updated 5:50 PM CDT
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The boating accident at Joe Pool Lake happened 200 yards off shore late Saturday night.

Mark Schnyder, NBC 5 News

The boating accident at Joe Pool Lake happened 200 yards off shore late Saturday night.

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A 12-year-old boy was critically injured in a collision involving three boats on Joe Pool Lake in Grand Prairie late Saturday night. Thirteen other people suffered minor injuries.

Police told NBCDFW the boy is in ICU at Children's Medical Center Dallas and faces more surgery and a long recovery.  They have not released his name.

Grand Prairie police say at about 11:00 p.m. lake patrol officers were called to a boat collision about 200 yards off the shore near Lynn Creek Park.

Investigators said two boats were tied together when a third boat hit the two boats sitting idle.

A total of 13 people on the three boats involved in the accident suffered minor injuries and were treated and released at the scene, according to Grand Prairie police.

The two boats that were sitting idle at the time of the collision returned to the marina under their own power. The third boat that hit the other two boats was partially submerged. Lake officers recovered the boat about 10 feet offshore.

Grand Prairie police told NBCDFW alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the collision. Officers said all the boats had their navigation lights on and it appears no one did anything illegal, but the investigation continues.

Johnny Hearn, who owns one of the boats that was struck says the boat that hit his seemed to be going fast.

"It happened so fast, I was bailing out and that's when I hit this into their boat and they were all ducking down.  It was like an explosion,” said Johnny Hearn.  “If you've ever been around a bomb or mortar or something just ‘boom’ and then I saw the boat just going through the air and landing off in the water."

"The boat just kind road along the top edge and dove off and threw people out of that boat and screaming and all that and that's when we started trying to save people,” said Hearn.  "It was very hairy for a while."

Prayers are with the 12-year old and his family and Hearn hoped this serves as a lesson for all boaters.

"You can't be distracted,” says Hearn.  “Driving a boat is the most important thing when you've got people on board.  You are the captain on a navy ship.  You're responsible for every one of them."

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