Fairfield girl killed in boating accident on Coralville Reservoir - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fairfield girl killed in boating accident on Coralville Reservoir

CORALVILLE RESERVOIR (KWWL) - 12-year old Sarah Nicole Perkins of Fairfield was killed on the Coralville Reservoir around 7 PM Sunday night. Investigators say she fell off her innertube that was being pulled by one boat, and was then hit and killed by an oncoming boat.

"Every year, there are a few accidents," said DNR Information Specialist Joe Wilkinson. "This is one of the busier lakes or bodies of water in the state of Iowa."

Wilkinson says the DNR is trying to piece together exactly what happened here, just north of the Mehaffey bridge. Investigators spent part of Memorial Day searching the water for evidence. Wilkinson says it's usually one of the heaviest traffic days all year.

But Jim Stickney, who lives just a few minutes away from where the accident happened, knows from first-hand experience that boating is a dangerous activity, no matter how vehicles are on the water.

"I was hit by a boat one night, doing almost 60 miles an hour," said Stickney, pointing to an area not far from where Sunday's accident occurred. "It almost killed everybody on both boats."

Stickney also teaches boating safety classes for the Four Rivers Sail and Power Squadron. He says watercraft drivers should always be scanning the water, and there should be a spotter for their own tubers and skiers.

"You have to keep your eyes open, not only for other boats, but for tubes and skiers in the water," Stickney explained. "Pay attention; those are the two key words."

The DNR says multiple people were on each boat, but are not saying if alcohol was a factor.

"That's one that's being considered, but there are other factors involved as well," said Wilkinson.

The DNR is not releasing the names of the boat operators.

Online Reporter - Brady Smith

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