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Boating accident claims life on Ohio River

Photo by Art Smith A West Virginia Division of Natural Resources boat moves past barges stopped along the Ohio River between Washington, W.Va., and Little Hocking, Ohio, on Friday afternoon, following an accident in which a barge reportedly struck a pleasure craft. One person’s body was recovered.

WASHINGTON, W.Va. — One person’s body was recovered from the Ohio River on Friday afternoon after a pleasure craft was struck by a barge, authorities said.

The identity of the individual had not been released Friday evening. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and U.S. Coast Guard were handling the investigation, said Wood County Sheriff Rick Woodyard.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. Friday, near mile marker 195 on the river, between Washington and Little Hocking.

The Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department had the first boat on the scene at the accident site, said Capt. Taylor Sams, with the department.

According to Sams, one boat was towing another when a thunderstorm came through, causing the river to become choppy and decreasing visibility. A commercial barge came into the area and was unable to see the smaller crafts, striking one.

Sams said several people, the number unknown, jumped into the river when the collision occurred and all but one were recovered without injury. One person went missing, but was later found to be deceased and was recovered, he said.

After the accident, a towboat with multiple bulk material barges was visible, along with smaller vessels, from the bank of the Ohio River off DuPont Road.

The towboat was named the Warren W. Hines, part of the Hines Furlong Line. A representative at the company’s Paducah, Ky., operations center said she could not comment at this time, pending the outcome of the investigation.

West Virginia DNR Game Warden Jim Thaxton said additional details were not available Friday afternoon.

A call to the Coast Guard had not been returned Friday evening.

Evan Bevins can be reached at

ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

Wayne Towner can be reached at wtowner@newsandsentinel.com.

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