Harlan teens injured in collision on Blackhawk Lake
SAC COUNTY — Two Harlan teenagers sustained injuries during a collision between a personal watercraft (PWC) and a pontoon around 3:17 p.m. Sunday, June 11. According to a report issued by the Iowa DNR, the accident occurred on Black Hawk Lake near Lake View.
The report stated the pontoon was operated by Charles Lierman, 75, of Ankeny, and was traveling an estimated 15 miles per hour. Lierman was pulling three of his grandchildren on a tube and was in the process of making a sweeping left turn when he saw the PWC approaching from his left side. Lierman corrected to his right in an attempt to avoid the collision.
The PWC, operated by Averie Thometz, 16, was headed east across the lake at approximately 40 miles per hour when she noticed the pontoon and released the throttle. The report stated a PWC is jet-driven, so when it is throttled down, the steering does not work.
The PWC collided with the front port (left) side of the pontoon and Thometz and passenger Dakota Goede, 17, of Harlan, were both ejected, hitting the pontoon and its metal skirting. The occupants of the tube assisted both aboard the pontoon and the girls were taken to the shore for medical assistance.
Thometz and Goetz were transported by ambulance to Loring Hospital in Sac City. Thometz was then sent to Omaha for surgery to repair a fracture in her lower leg. Goetz’s injuries are unknown.
The report stated the incident occurred in the center of the lake on the north side. State Conservation Officer Nathan Haupert stated boat traffic was light for a Sunday, likely due to cooler air temperatures, plus wind and moderate wave action.
The incident remains under investigation.