FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Police in Larimer County suspect a boat operator who ran over and injured his friend at Horsetooth Reservoir was drunk.
The incident happened on Sunday just before nightfall. Investigators say there were nine people on the boat who were between 19 and 22. They said the victim was critically injured as he jumped out of the boat as it continued to back over him.
Witnesses told CBS4 on Monday they watched the accident happen.
“The propeller caught his ankle and it caught him and it started going up his body and moved up and lacerated his body up to his chest,” Tim Koski said.
Paul Stark said he was swimming nearby when he saw the rescue crews working on the shoreline.
“I saw them bring a guy on a stretcher over from the boat and unload him over here,” he said. “Something like that doesn’t just go away.”
Police said the boat also attempted to dock afterwards on the rough and jagged shoreline of the reservoir but it didn’t work.
“They probably had too much to drink and let their guard down. It just takes a split second and disaster can happen,” Koski said.
Officials stress that safety is key when boating on lakes and reservoirs in Colorado.
So far police have not released the identities of anyone who was on the boat. On Tuesday doctors said they were hopeful that the victim would survive.