Four men were injured, one believed seriously, when their boat struck rocks this morning in the Illinois River downstream from Starved Rock State Park.
First responders from Oglesby, Utica and Conservation police arrived to the Starved Rock boat launch around 8:40 a.m. today to provide medical assistance to men in a boat brought ashore from the Illinois River.
Sgt. Robert “Hank” Frazier of Conservation police said the crash still was under investigation, but the accident appeared to happen when boat operator Albert Alexander, 81, of Chicago, turned his gaze from the water to ask one of his passengers to hand him an item.
The boat, which Frazier said was traveling about 30 mph, then veered right and struck a grove of trees and rocks along the riverbank. The crash occurred a quarter mile to a half mile downstream from the boat launch, Frazier said.
Alexander was transported to Illinois Valley Community Hospital, Peru, along with his three passengers, Adell Ingram, 51, Luis E. Gardner, 63, and Eddie Lee Gardner, 67, all of Chicago.
Condition reports were not immediately available on three of the victim before press time today. Eddie Lee Gardner, described as “pretty banged up,” was being transferred to St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria.
Tom Collins can be reached at (815) 220-6930 or email@example.com.