07/24/12 Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a boat accident which occurred on Mississinewa Reservoir on Sunday at approximately 5:20pm. Mitchell Morris (22) of Lafontaine, Indiana was boating with three other friends when Mitchell and two others decided to jump from their boat which was traveling approximately 40-45 mph. The two who jumped with Morris were Chad Bassett (23) of Wabash, Indiana and T.J. Morris Jr. (23) of Lafontaine, Indiana. The boat was being operated by Aaron Shaw (22) of Lafontaine, Indiana.
After the three jumped, Bassett and Morris Jr. quickly surfaced however Mitchell Morris did not surface for several seconds. When Mitchell Morris eventually surfaced he had sustained a severely lacerated skull and skull fracture as well as a severely lacerated right hand. It is unknown if he was struck by the boat or if he hit debris in the water. His friends got him to the boat and called 911 and took him to the Pearson’s Mill boat ramp. Emergency personnel from the Wabash City Fire Dept. and Noble Township Fire Dept. arrived on scene and summoned the Parkview Hospital Samaritan Helicopter to transport Morris. Morris was flown to the Parkview Regional North Hospital in Fort Wayne where he underwent immediate surgery.
As of 10:00am Monday Morris was listed in critical but stable condition. Life preservers were not worn by the boat occupants. Indiana Conservation Officers urge boaters not to take unnecessary risks when boating or enjoying the states’ waterways. This is a situation where horseplay resulted in the unfortunate serious injury to a boater. Indiana Conservation Officer Jerry Hoerdt is the lead investigator in this incident and is being assisted by Indiana Conservation Officer Cpl. Erick Bolt. Hoerdt’s report will be submitted to the Wabash County Prosecutors Office for review upon completion.