**Itasca County Sheriff’s Department **
Press Release

On July 5, 2018, at approximately 5:05 pm, Itasca County Sheriff’s Communications received a 9-1-1 call of a boating accident in which two boats collided on Pokegama Lake near the LaPlant Road access. It was reported that there were several people involved and multiple injuries.

According to witnesses, a runabout with 6 occupants was pulling a water tube westbound on the lake. The operator of the runabout made a sharp left turn striking a pontoon broadside that was eastbound. Two occupants in the pontoon were ejected into the water. One occupant in the boat was thrown onto the pontoon. The pontoon was believed to have had 8 people on board. Alcohol was a factor and the driver of the runabout, of Burnsville Minnesota, was arrested. The boat suffered moderate damage and the pontoon suffered major damage.

Seven people from the two watercraft were transported to Grand Itasca Clinic and Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Boater’s hometowns include Prior Lake, Burnsville, Orono, and Robinsdale.

The Itasca County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Meds 1, MN DNR and Life Link along with several members of the public. The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank those members of the public who helped victims safely out of the water and to shore and provided assistance to law enforcement.