Tragedy strikes on lake

The Courier-Herald

A pair of weekend boating accidents on Lake Tapps resulted in one death, another person critically injured and five people transported to area hospitals.

The second accident occurred at 2 p.m. Sunday, north of Inlet Island. A 57-year-old woman riding on the back of a personal watercraft driven by her 28-year-old stepson died when she was accidentally hit from behind by a second personal watercraft piloted by her 33-year-old daughter.

The stepson pulled the unconscious woman to shore, where Bonney Lake police officers began cardiopulmonary resuscitation until East Pierce Fire and rescue personnel arrived.

The woman was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The earlier incident occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the causeway, which is 56th Street East and connects Interlake Island to the mainland.

A boat with a driver and two passengers was traveling southbound on the lake and collided with the causeway.

Police officers arrived and found the boat stuck halfway out of the water on the road with the motor still running. The throttle and ignition were damaged causing the propeller to spin out of control.

An officer jumped into the water to assist the critically injured driver of the boat, a 37-year-old man. Another officer was able to turn off the vessel's motor.

East Pierce emergency personnel arrived and gave medical aid to the driver, who suffered massive facial trauma.

The man was transported to Madigan Hospital in Tacoma and was later airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center.

The other two occupants in the boat, a 36-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were transported to area hospitals for medical attention.

In other emergency situations, East Pierce Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a stabbing at a tavern in Wilkeson just before midnight Friday.

The same night East Pierce crews were dispatched with Sumner Fire to a single-vehicle accident on state Route 410 East. The driver of a motorcycle failed to make the turn at the 166th Street and ran off the embankment into a tree. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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