Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hit and run boat may have little damage??

Boat may have little damage - look for bottom damage.... By BRIAN SPANNAGEL REGISTER STAFF WRITER August 16, 2005 A mysterious boat blamed for a fatal collision last week on West Okoboji Lake might have left the scene with only "a few scratches," a local marina manager said Monday. Phil Miklo, manager of Oak Hill Marina in Okoboji, said a lack of serious damage to the hit-and-run boat could explain why investigators have been unable to locate the driver, who could face charges in the death of Dallas County dentist Michael Brosnahan, 51. Investigators say his wife, Jill Brosnahan, 50, was seriously injured when an unidentified boat vaulted over the 22-foot craft they were in early Friday. Four others with the Brosnahans escaped injury. The unknown boat could have easily escaped "with only the underside getting damaged," said Miklo, whose company sells and repairs watercraft. Several tips and a $25,000 reward have produced no arrests. All investigators seem sure about is that the fugitive boat did not sink. "We have an idea of where to look for damage, but as to how much there was, it's impossible to tell," said Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Gary Owen. There is no protocol for investigating hit-and-run boat accidents, Owens said. Officers have searched for the boat, described as a white 22-foot runabout with two red stripes, in a lake area that covers about 13,000 acres. "We hope someone comes forward," Dickinson County Sheriff Greg Baloun said. Some marinas, boat repair shops and area bars have been asked to alert authorities if they see a boat with damage that fits the description. But boat collisions, unlike car wrecks, don't leave behind skid marks. And water masks most traces of the accident. "If there is any fall-off, it sinks to the bottom," Owen said.

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