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Man killed in Stafford boating accident is identified

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UPDATE: The victim in Saturday’s boating accident has been identified as John Gregory Atherly of Coral Springs, Fla., said Lee Walker with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Atherly had been working at the Quantico Marine Corps Base as a contractor, Walker said.

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BY PAMELA GOULD

THE FREE LANCE–STAR

One person was killed and a second person injured late Saturday in a boating accident on Aquia Creek that remained under investigation on Sunday.

The man, a 50-year-old from out of state, was pronounced dead on the scene following the incident that was reported about 10:35 p.m. on Saturday, said Lee Walker, spokesman for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Walker did not release the man’s name because next of kin had not been reached. He said the man had been in the Stafford County area for employment.

An autopsy was to be conducted.

The second person on the boat was a 41-year-old woman from the Stafford area, Walker said. She was treated for minor injuries and released.

The pair were riding in a 19-foot Chaparral ski-type boat that is powered by a gasoline engine, Walker said.

Witnesses saw the boat heading out of Aquia Creek toward the Potomac River at a high rate of speed and then strike the No. 10 channel marker at the entrance to Aquia Creek, Walker said.

The boat was damaged but not destroyed and was towed to shore, he said.

Stafford fire and rescue units responded at 10:35 p.m. on Saturday with boat 5 from the Brooke station arriving first at 10:49 p.m., Stafford Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Mark Doyle said.

Units from the Aquia, Widewater, White Oak, Falmouth, Mountain View, Stafford and Quantico fire and rescue stations in Virginia responded on Saturday, plus personnel from Charles County, Md., Doyle said.

Walker did not know the relationship between the two occupants of the boat and said it hadn’t been determined where they had launched from.

He said that boats traveling at night are required to use lights and that people piloting them after dark need to take extra precautions because of reduced visibility.

“It’s always a dangerous time to be boating at night,” he said.

Pamela Gould: 540/735-1972

pgould@freelancestar.com

 

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