Authorities seeking suspect in boat and run on Big Cormorant LakeBig Cormorant Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - We've all heard of hit and run car accidents, but rarely do you ever hear about a hit and run boating accident. That's exactly what happened on Big Cormorant Lake this Fourth of July.
Big Cormorant Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - We've all heard of hit and run car accidents, but rarely do you ever hear about a hit and run boating accident. That's exactly what happened on Big Cormorant Lake this Fourth of July.
It's left a community shaken, as many are still in shock, trying to piece together what happened, but in all of the tragedy, thanks to one family's heroic actions, nobody was killed.
Julie Schmidt – Saw the Accident: “He noticed a boat parked and another boat coming in at about 30-40 miles per hour.”
Doug Schmidt – Saw the Accident: “I saw them collide, and then I saw the boat that was moving jump in the air. Then I could hear the sound.”
When the Schmidt family and their friends came up from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for the holiday these are not the kind of fireworks they expected.
Doug Schmidt: “I could tell it was too massive objects colliding and a lot of fiber glass.”
Jon Burbridge – Dove in Lake to Help: “Pretty much above the water line of the rear end of the boat was gone and the engine was exposed.”
Doug Schmidt: “There were boat parts and people strewn all around both boats.”
Two men, a woman and two children were on the boat at the time of the collision.
Julie Schmidt: “Little girl about 5 crying hysterically, little boy about seven, he was doing okay but bleeding. The girl was also bleeding from the head.”
Several people on the Schmidt's boat immediately dove in, pulling everyone to safety.
Julie Schmidt: “I was the only adult with a life vest, and I thought I'm the perfect candidate to go in so I said what do you need, what do you need help with?”
Neighbors tell us Terry Erickson of Fargo suffered a broken pelvis and a broken leg during the accident. They say he was flown to a Minneapolis hospital for his injuries. Perhaps the real tragedy in all this is the actions of the other boat.
Julie Schmidt: “They were arguing with the people in the water that were hurt and I just felt like someone should be doing something.”
Doug Scmidt: “We'd like to think whoever was involved would at least hang around and make sure everyone was okay.”
Witnesses say the boat was white or off white with a red stripe down the side. The two people on the boat at the time are described as a brown haired man with an average height and weight and a thin blonde woman with a pony tail.
If you have any information on this accident, or know of someone who might fit this description, you are asked to call the Becker County Sheriff's Office.