VANCOUVER, Wash. – A boat barreling down on you is not a sight that you expect to see while at the beach. But that is what happened to a teenager who was hit on the shore of the Columbia River.
Witnesses said the boat was going at least 30 miles an hour when it came about 25 feet onto the shore.
Tyler Travis, a high school senior from Camas, was hanging out with his friends and brother at Wintler Park on Saturday when someone screamed “watch out.”
“I was expecting like a football or something, but I saw a boat flying at me with its nose to the sky,” Travis said. “I ran to the right and got three steps in. The next thing I know I got a boat on top of my leg, and I'm face down in the sand.”
The hit broke Travis’ fibula, forcing him to use crutches and forgo driving, work and his graduation ceremony.
“I don't want to take my diploma with crutches,” he said. “I'd rather be walking by myself.”
Travis wasn’t the only person who was hit. A man in the water was struck in the head. No injuries were reported.
The boat’s driver told witnesses there was a problem with the boat.
“He said the throttle was stuck,” said Tanner Berry, who witnessed the incident. “I think he was drunk and didn't know what he was doing.”
Travis added: “Apparently they stood up and started yelling ‘Hangover, Part Two,’ laughing and stuff, trying to get their beer off the boat.”
However, investigators don't think alcohol was a factor. Police towed the boat, but it is unknown whether the driver was ticketed.
Boaters are not allowed to go faster than five miles per hour within 200 feet of any swimmer or shore.
“When you got a boat going that fast and out of control, I don't know why you aim for a crowded beach like that,” Travis said.