Felony charge filed against teen in pontoon crash

Kent County
Kent Co boat crash 05172019_1558140909445.jpg.jpg

A May 2019 photo shows the sheriff’s department responding to a pontoon boat crash on the Thornapple River that injured three teenagers.

CASCADE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — An 18-year-old woman is facing a felony charge in connection to a pontoon boat crash on the Thornapple River that sent three teenagers to the hospital.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says his office has filed a charge of marine safety- operating while intoxicated causing serious injury against Hayley Anne Gorski in connection to the May 17 crash.

Gorski was allegedly behind the wheel of a pontoon that hit a concrete bridge pillar under the M-6 overpass near the Maracaibo Shores boat launch in Forest Hills.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Office said eight teenagers from the Forest Hills-Cascade area were celebrating high school graduation aboard the pontoon when it crashed.

A fisherman who witnessed the crash said the pontoon appeared to hit the barrier head-on and at full-speed, sending three or four people into the water.

Three of the teenagers were taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, including one with critical head injuries.

Weeks later, the sheriff’s department announced it had ticketed some of the teens for alcohol and marijuana possession.

Authorities said the boat was severely damaged, but the owner was able to drive it home.

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