Tuesday, November 07, 2000

Boater in crash with barge still critical

By Tom O'Neill
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        While investigators continued Monday to piece together the weekend crash of a motorboat into a docked barge on the Ohio River, the boat's driver remained in critical condition.

        Kenneth Clinger, 41, of Lawrenceburg, and his passenger, Shane McCann, were returning to Lawrenceburg at 7 p.m. Saturday when they struck the coal barge, said Karen Muench, Ohio Department of Natural Resources area supervisor.

        Ms. Muench indicated the barge appeared to meet standards for illumination, though it remained unclear whether it was properly docked.

        Mr. McCann swam to shore, called 911 and declined medical treatment.

        Mr. Clinger, who was trapped underneath the capsized boat, suffered a severe head injury. He is being treated at University Hospital.

        The men were fishing. Ms. Muench said it was not immediately known whether alcohol or speeding were factors.

        Illumination is crucial for barges, but so, too, is boater education, said Chief Alan Hayes of the Coast Guard, Cincinnati auxiliary.


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