An 8-year-old Vidor boy was killed while being pulled on a tube behind a bass boat in Calcasieu Parish and a Texas man has been arrested in connection with the incident.
Damian Haines, 8, of Vidor, was killed Sunday after he and two other boys were ejected from a tube when it hit the shore as it was being pulled behind a bass boat on Old Sabine River near Niblett’s Bluff Park in Calcasieu Parish according to a release from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Eddie L. Dunwoody, 35, of Vidor, who witnesses told LDWF agents was operating the boat at the time, was arrested and charged with operating a vessel while intoxicated with child endangerment, vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injury, reckless operation of a watercraft, and violating a no wake zone according to the release.
Haines was airlifted to West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital in Sulphur where he was later pronounced dead while one other boy was transported by ambulance to Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital with non life-threatening injuries the release said.
The third boy received minor injuries and did not require treatment according to the release.
From the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries...
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) enforcement agents are investigating a fatal boating incident that occurred in Calcasieu Parish on Aug. 20.
The fatal boating incident claimed the life of Damian Haines, 8, of Vidor, Texas. The incident happened around 5 p.m. on Old Sabine River near Niblett’s Bluff Park.
According to the survivors, Eddie L. Dunwoody, 35, of Vidor, Texas, was operating a 19 foot bass boat with a 150 horsepower motor with four other passengers on board while towing a tube with three juvenile boys. He made a turn and the tube swung out striking the bank and ejecting the three boys.
Haines was airlifted to the West Calcasieu Cameron Hospital in Sulphur where he was pronounced dead. Another boy was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont, Texas, for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The other boy on the tube suffered minor injuries and didn’t need any further treatment.
LDWF agents arrived on scene and determined that Dunwoody was impaired and he tested over the legal limit for alcohol. Agents also drew blood from Dunwoody for a toxicology test. Agents also determined that Dunwoody was operating the vessel at the time of the incident in a no wake zone.
Agents arrested Dunwoody for operating (driving) a vessel while intoxicated (DWI) with child endangerment, vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injury, reckless operation of a watercraft, and violating a no wake zone and booked him into the Calcasieu Parish Prison.
Vehicular homicide brings a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison. Vehicular negligent injury carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail. DWI with child endangerment carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail with 10 days being mandatory for the first offense. Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail. Violating the no wake zone penalties are set by the parish.
The LDWF Enforcement Division will be the lead investigative agency for this fatal boating incident.