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Published July 07, 2012, 09:05 AM

Boat and run victim recalls night of terrifying crash

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Becker County Sheriff's department is still on the lookout for a boat that accidentally slammed into another boat shortly after 10 this Fourth of July. The incident has a family and a community asking how anyone could leave the scene of such a terrifying accident.

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The Becker County Sheriff's department is still on the lookout for a boat that accidentally slammed into another boat shortly after 10 this Fourth of July. The incident has a family and a community asking how anyone could leave the scene of such a terrifying accident.

Just imagine a boat traveling in excess of 30 miles-per hour coming right for you. In a split second you have to make the decision. Leave your boat or stay put?

Well that's exactly what happened to Taryn Erickson.

Taryn Erickson: “We were probably on the lake for about 10 minutes and then I saw this boat coming for us.”

Taryn Erickson and her family were about a half mile in from the shore of Big Cormorant Lake Wednesday night. A fourth spent enjoying fireworks, family and friends, when suddenly everything changed.

Taryn Erickson: “I looked at it and had to think, "Is it really? What's that boat doing, that boat?" My husband stood up and tried to flag him and wave his arms. He yelled, "Bail!" and we went off the side of the boat.”

Their friend also jumped. Miraculously, nobody was killed. The two kids stayed on the boat, their daughter needed to have her head stapled shut. Taryn's husband Terry took the hardest blow.

Taryn Erickson: “They ended up hitting my husband and that resulted in pelvis fractures and his broken leg.”

Terry spent 4 hours under the knife in a Minneapolis hospital this afternoon. Plates and screws were put in to stabalize the right side of his pelvis. His injuries are expected to keep him out of work and in intensive rehab therapy for at least 3-months. Taryn and other witnesses recall a very angry exchange between the two boats.

Taryn Erickson: “We're looking at the boat, begging for help, "Please help us! Can you call 911? What were you doing? Can you throw us lifejackets? Help us find our kids!"”

Luckily, several other nearby boats were on scene within a matter of seconds to pull everyone to safety.

The Ericksons rent their cabin from Ellis Peterson. Peterson and others combed the lake for hours the next morning, looking for any boat that might have damage.

Ellis Peterson – Friend of Ericksons: “The fact that someone could walk away from it, you have people in the water hurt, badly hurt, and how they could leave them is what really frustrates us.”

Now, all anybody wants is a safe recovery for Terry...and for those responsible to turn themselves in.

Taryn Erickson: “It was an accident; they didn't mean to run to us. They made a bad decision and I just hope they can turn it around and come forward.”

The Sheriff's office says the boat is an 18-to-20 foot white or cream colored boat. It has a red or dark stripe down the side. The boat possible has a cabin style helm and should have damage to the bow or front area.

The Becker County Sheriff's office has done multiple, extensive searches of Big Cormorant Lake and its docks, but have found nothing. If you have any information on the boat or this accident, you are asked to call the sheriff's department at 218.847.2661

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