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Teenager hit by boat on Father’s Day dies

POSTED: June 30, 2010 4:00 a.m.

A Woodstock teenager died of her injuries June 24, four days after she was struck by a boat on Lake Lanier.

  

Dawson County Coroner Ted Bearden said Ashley Howard, 15, was pronounced dead just after 3 p.m. at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

  

She and two others were being pulled behind a boat on an inner tube near Nix Bridge Park in Dawson County on June 20, when she fell off and was hit by a passing pontoon boat.

  

Battalion Chief Milton Keller with Dawson County Emergency Services said the teen was treated for severe cuts to the head at the park before being flown to Grady’s trauma unit in critical condition.

  

“She was combative, which is typical with brain injuries,” he said.

  

The boat was impounded as part of the ongoing investigation, though Sgt. Mike Burgamy with DNR said he does not expect to file any charges in the case.

  

“The pontoon boat took evasive action and swerved to miss the first girl that fell off,” Burgamy said. “He just didn’t see the second girl.”

  

Burgamy called the incident an “unfortunate accident” and said alcohol was not a factor in the Father’s Day collision.

  

Brian Richardson, who has lived in the Nix Bridge area for about 20 years, said the incident was the first he had seen in the cove, which he described as “a small and pretty congested area of the Chestatee River.”

  

“There is kind of a blind curve or corner,” he said.

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