The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.


Published June 7, 2017

Man drowns over holiday weekend

LAKE OF THE OZARKS – One person drowned over the Memorial Day Weekend, according to figures released by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) last week.

According to the MSHP, on May 29 around 9:25 a.m. at the 3.5-mile marker of the Big Niangua Arm John A. Russo, 52, of St. Louis, was located face down in the water near a dock by a family member.

Russo was pronounced dead at 9:49 by Dr. W. Cravens at the scene. This was Troop Fs second drowning for the month of May and number three for 2017.

The reason for the drowning was not released by the MSHP.

There were several other incidents on the lake during the holiday period but no other fatalities.

On May 27 a 2016 Sea-Doo, driven by a 15-year-old male out of St. Charles, MO, ran into the back of a 2007 Yamaha, driven by a 16-year-old female out of O’Fallon, MO. The Yamaha had come to a stop when the Sea-Doo impacted it.

Both drivers were wearing safety devices and both were uninjured. The vehicles were driven from the scene.

According to the MSHP, on May 27 at 1:30 p.m. at the 27-mile marker of the main channel a 2003 Regal Runabout, driven by Charda Davis, 31, out of St. Louis, was operating the vessel too close to the shore when she turned the boat off to prevent damage.

Boat wakes pushed the boat onto the rocky shore causing extensive damage. Davis was uninjured but the boat had to be towed from the scene.

Another non-injury accident occurred the next day at 11:00 a.m. at the 31-mile Marker Possum Hollow Cove when a 2007 Formula Runabout, driven by Terry Walter, 60, of Clive IA, had backed into a boat slip.

The MSHP said that Walter then put the boat into reverse instead of forward and impacted the dock causing extensive damage to the vessel.

A waverunner collision occurred on May 28 around 3:19 p.m. at the 8.3-mile marker of Workman Hollow Cove.

According to the MSHP, a 2016 Sea-Doo GTI operated by Quante Ford, 22, of St. Joseph, MO turned in from of a 2015 Sea-Doo GTI (who was traveling in the same direction) driven by a 17-year-old male also from St. Joseph, MO.

The 2015 Sea-Doo impacted the other waverunner. The 2016 Sea-Doo was driven from the scene while the other one was towed back to the rental company. Both drivers were uninjured and were wearing a safety device.

That same day a collision between two boats sent three people to the hospital.

The MSHP said that around 9:20 p.m. a 38-foot 1998 Sea Ray Cruiser, driven by Charles Penner, 55, of Bridgeton, MO, was traveling downstream at the 19-mile marker when he encountered a 2006 Four Winns runabout, driven by Ronald Sulewski, 69, of St. Louis, MO, being driven upstream.

Both vehicles turned to avoid a collision but the Searay collided with the Runabout on the starboard side.

Penner was uninjured and the boat received minor damage and was driven from the scene.

Sulewski received minor injuries and was taken to Lake Regional Hospital.

A passenger, in the runabout, Mary Hull, 24, of Nashville, TN, received serious injures and was flown by Staff for Life to University Hospital.

A second passenger, John Keathley, 32, also of Nashville, received moderate injuries and was taken to Lake Regional Hospital.

The runabout received extensive damage and was towed from the scene.

On Memorial Day around 9:30 a.m., a 2002 Power Quest 370 (37-foot), driven by Chad Stockman, 24, of Lohman, MO, was westbound at the 12-mile marker of the main channel.

After leaving a cove the driver started smelling smoke and stopped the vessel. An inspection of the engine compartment revealed flames coming from the rubber exhaust boot.

The occupants of the boat were unable to extinguish the flames and transferred to another vessel. The boat burned to the waterline and sank. None of the occupants of the boat were injured. The vessel will be raised by Tow Boat US.

Another boat sank, this one after the holiday weekend.

Last Friday at 1:40 p.m. at mile marker 16.2 of the Osage Arm, a 2002 Silverton, driven by Joseph Krieger, 32, of Muscatine, IA, was traveling downstream when it experienced a mechanical failure causing the vessel to sink.

The driver was uninjured.

On the roads in Camden, Miller and Morgan Counties, the MSHP recorded no accidents during the holiday period (May 26-29).

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