Overcrowding, weather cause boat to capsize near Onalaska
Polk County Enterprise, June 2007
ONALASKA — Eleven adults and an infant crowded into a modified v-hull boat designed for four passengers Saturday for a lake excursion that could have ended in disaster, according Police Chief Ron Gilbert.
Thunderstorms broke out and the boat filled with water from the four-foot swells that were pounding the lake.
The boaters were just east of the U.S. 190 causeway in Onalaska when the boat submerged. The occupants were able to swim to the concrete bridge supports, police said. All the occupants were wearing life jackets.
No injuries were reported, Gilbert said. Any potential charges for exceeding the capacity limits of the boat would fall under the jurisdiction of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens.
Felony marijuana arrest
Police also arrested an Onalaska man for felony marijuana possession.
Richard Neuwirth Jr., 22, of Onalaska, was arrrested after officers found more than four ounces of marijuana in a vehicle during a traffic stop.
The charge is a state jail felony, but the amount seized could be considered either a usable quantity or an amount intended for distribution. Since the contraband was not packaged for sale, officers are pursuing the lesser charge, Gilbert said.