Victims in Boating Collision Near Burlington Identified
BURLINGTON– The victims of an early Saturday morning boat collision near Burlington have been identified as Matthew T. House, 21, Jacob K. Boyd, 22, Caitlyn M. Atchley, 20, and Blake A. Easkins, 21, all of Burlington.
The early Saturday (July 19th) collision occurred in the O’Donnell Slough area of the Mississippi River near Burlington when a jon boat operated by Joseph S. Schier, 20, of Burlington, collided with another jon boat operated by Douglas C. Metcalf, 21, also of Burlington. In addition to the victims, other passengers in the boat operated by Metcalf included Christopher Edwards, 21, Jedadiah J. Thomas, 21, Michael M. Shea, 21, Reno A. Trejo, 21, Jennifer C. Parcel, 20, all of Burlington and Katie K. Nelan, 19 of Davenport. Schier was the lone occupant of his vessel.
Schier, Metcalf, Edwards, Thomas, Shea, Trejo, Nelan and Parcel all made it to shore at 123 O’Connell Beach Road in Burlington shortly after the accident. All were treated at Great River Medical Center in Burlington except Nelan, who was air-lifted to University Hospitals in Iowa City.
The search efforts for House, Boyd, Atchley and Easkins continued throughout the day Saturday until dusk and then resumed early Sunday morning when they were recovered in 10 to 12 feet of water within approximately 100 yards of where the collision occurred. Emergency personnel were alerted to the collision at 1:43 a.m. Saturday.
The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois Conservation Police, Muscatine Search and Rescue and the Iowa Department of Natural Resources all participated in the recovery effort. Investigation of the collision is being conducted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and is ongoing.