LAKE CONROE- Three people were ejected from a boat just after 2 a.m. on Saturday when the vessel struck rocks and bounced on top of a bulkhead near the Palms Marina, which was formerly known as Anchorage Marina.
Lt. Bryan DuBose with the Pct. 1 Constable’s Office, Marine Division, said two of the victims were unconscious when the third managed to call 911. All three were launched about 60 feet from the boat, DuBose said.
Jeffery R. Conlin, 26 of Willis, was driving the 2006 red and white center console 21-foot Kenner boat, with 23-year-old Christina Price of Willis and 24-year-old Morgan L. Siegert of Waller as passengers.
Conlin and Siegert landed on the shore and Price landed partially in the water on the rocky slope at the water’s edge. Price lost several teeth and Siegert’s ankle was “chipped,” but Conlin was the most seriously injured, with facial trauma and neck injuries, DuBose said. In addition to their injuries, Dubose said the scene was “bone-chilling for all involved,” with the surface temperature at 42 degrees.
Conlin, the only one who remained conscious, somehow was able to dial 911 on his cell phone, DuBose said.
Deputies with Pct. 1 Constable Don Chumley’s Marine Division were dispatched to 11698 Palm Marina Drive in Willis where the found the boat and three victims.
MCHD EMS, North Montgomery County Fireboat 94 and Lake Conroe Fireboat 31 were also on location and had begun treating the injured.
Medics transported Conlin to Conroe Regional Medical Center. He was later transported to Ben Taub Hospital in Houston, where he remained in stable but serious condition Saturday night. Siegert and Price were taken to Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands where they were treated and released.
None of the victims was wearing a life jacket, but three were found in the boat, DuBose said.
The victims told responding medics and law enforcement the accident occurred after they left Papa’s on the Lake en route to their launch in the Lake Conroe Hills Subdivision.
DuBose said weather conditions were foggy with drizzle. However, investigators believe there were other contributing factors.
“There was a strong smell of alcohol and there was an open container inside the boat,” DuBose said.
A blood alcohol test will be performed on a blood sample taken at the hospital.
Although there is no law against an open container of alcohol in a boat, DuBose said, it is illegal to operate a watercraft while intoxicated.
Pct. 1 is investigating the accident and will send their findings to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.
Because of the location of the crash, the North Montgomery County and Lake Conroe Fireboats were used to transport them to shore. Bad weather on Saturday prevented recovery of the boat by Tow Boats US. DuBose said the boat would probably be removed on Sunday.
“They’ll have to use a barge with lifts on the front,” he said.