Lanyard attached to floatation device causes crash on lake

ANGOLA – On July 4, 2018, at approxi-mately 10:55 a.m., Matthew Meyer, 40, of Fort Wayne, Indiana was operating his Per-sonal Watercraft (PWC) on Lake James when he stopped to swim and cool off.

He boarded his PWC and as he was putting on his Personal Floatation Device (PFD), the kill switch lanyard which was attached to the PFD wrapped around the throttle of the PWC causing it to accelerate to near full speed, throw-ing Meyer off of the PWC and continue unmanned for approximately 300 yards where it struck a pontoon owned by Jeffery Martin of Toledo, Ohio.

The pontoon had nine occupants and was moored at a sandbar. The PWC struck the outboard motor of the pontoon boat, throwing one of the occupants of the pontoon boat into the shallow water.  Denise Martin, 69 of Toledo, Ohio was transported to Cameron Memorial Hospital in Angola, Indiana by Steuben County EMS with minor injuries to her face.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Indiana Conservation Officers were assisted by the Steuben County Sheriff’s Department, Steuben County EMS, Steuben County Communications, and the Fremont Fire Department.