1 dead, 6 injured after boats collide on Georgia lake

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The crash occurred early Saturday morning on Lake Tobesofkee in Macon.

One person is dead and six others injured, including one critically, after two boats collided on a Georgia lake early Saturday, officials said.

The incident occurred before 3:40 a.m. on Lake Tobesofkee in Macon, Mark McKinnon, spokesman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement division, said in a statement to ABC News.

All seven victims were aboard a pontoon boat when it collided with a “cigarette boat” occupied by two people, McKinnon said.

William Childs, 22, suffered an open head injury and was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Bibb County coroner Leon Jones told ABC News.

“I knew he was going to die,” Jones, who was in the hospital responding to a separate incident, said of the moment he saw Childs brought into the emergency department.

A woman in her early 20s was in critical condition in the intensive care unit with a head injury, Jones said.

The other five people on the pontoon boat sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Childs was a “beloved” assistant manager at Fish N’ Pig, a restaurant located on the lake, the establishment said on social media. The other occupants of the pontoon are also employees, it said.

The two people aboard the cigarette boat were not injured in the crash, officials said. They allegedly abandoned the boat and were found at a nearby residence, McKinnon said.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Critical Incident Reconstruction Team is investigating.

Authorities suspect alcohol may have been involved but are awaiting results of the investigation for confirmation, according to McKinnon.

Any charges will be determined when the investigation is completed in two to three months.

Lake Tobesofkee, a recreational lake located just outside Macon’s city limits, has 35 miles of shoreline and is a popular spot for boating and fishing.

Editor’s note: Authorities initially reported the operator of the cigarette boat was arrested for boating under the influence, though that information was later determined to be incorrect. The story has been updated to remove references to the arrest.