Questions raised over barge lights after deadly crash
Last Thursday a pleasure boat crashed into a barge just before midnight (Photo: FOX19)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -
Questions remain in the boat crash that left two Cincinnati FBI employees dead.
Last Thursday a pleasure boat crashed into a barge just before midnight.
"I could not believe there was a barge right in front of us that we could not see," said Mary Buckhanan.
Mary Buckhanan was on the river with five others the same night of this horrible crash. But just minutes before this scene, Buckhanan says she had a bad feeling.
"I looked at my husband and said somebody is going to get killed tonight," said Buckhanan.
Officials say a pleasure boat was heading in the direction of a 600 foot vessel, but then made a 90 degree turn in front of the barge. FBI employees Bryce Eastlick and John Stack both died in the crash.
"I don't believe that these men deserved to die, I think it could have happened to anyone that was out on the river that night," said Buckhanan.
Buckhanan goes boating every weekend and says the lack of lights on barges has always been a pet peeve of hers.
"We could not see this barge at all until the captain flashed his flood lights. That's the only reason we knew there was a barge out, there was one little tiny light is all I saw," said Buckhanan.
Barges like all other boats require proper lighting at night. According to the US Coast Guard, a power driven vessel must have "a masthead light forward, a second masthead light above the forward one, sidelights, and a sternlight."
Authorities say navigation lights worked on both vessels, but Buckhanan says it's clearly not enough.
"Keep the other boaters safe. It's just not fair to the other boaters. We've got to all be lit up, especially the long, the super long ones. The fact that they're not lit up is a crime, it's just an accident waiting to happen," said Buckhanan.
It's still unclear exactly what caused this crash. The toxicology report is still pending. This investigation by the Coast Guard is ongoing.