Man dies after boat strikes downed tree, ejecting him; 4-year-old survives unhurt

LDWF says man’s PFD was not inflated when he was recovered from river
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 3:47 PM CST
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NATCHITOCHES, La. (KSLA) — A boating accident has claimed the life of a 37-year-old Natchitoches Parish man.

Jack Crowell, 37, of Natchitoches, was ejected from his 17-foot boat when it struck a downed tree in Cane River near the 300 block of Shoreline Drive in Natchitoches about 6:30 p.m. Saturday (Dec. 3), the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) reports.

Crowell’s 4-year-old son remained in the boat. He was not injured and required no medical care, authorities said.

Boaters nearby saw the accident, immediately called 911 for help and loaded Crowell’s son onto one of their boats.

A few minutes later, the good Samaritans found Crowell in the river and retrieved him from the water. EMS and Natchitoches Sheriff’s Office personnel took him to Natchitoches Regional Medical Center. Crowell then was transferred to Ochsner LSU Health, the Shreveport hospital where he was pronounced dead about 1 a.m. Sunday (Dec. 4).

LDWF says its initial investigation shows that Crowell was wearing a Type 5 personal flotation device (PFD) that is manually inflated and that his PFD was not inflated when he was recovered from the river. Crowell also had his engine cutoff switch attached to his PFD and it worked properly to shut off the motor after he was ejected.