Missing person found dead, driver arrested after boat crash

Lake Fatal Crash Sunday

MILLER COUNTY, Mo. - - The body of the individual who was missing after a boat crash has been found by the highway patrol dive team. "Our sincere sympathies go out to his family & friends," troopers said in a tweet Sunday afternoon.

Jason Russell, 39, of Eugene, went missing Saturday night ​​after two boats crashed into each other near mile marker 4 of the Lake of the Ozarks' main channel. His body was found about 80 feet below the surface of the lake, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

"When the dive team got here, they used sonar to continue to search the area. It was a wide area of where this crash occurred. We had general information of where it occurred, but because of the depth, which was about 80 feet, and the visibility at the bottom of the lake, it was hard to pinpoint exactly where this occurred," said Scott White, of Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F. 

Russell was one of four passengers in the boat troopers say was headed downstream. The three others in the boat suffered a range of injuries from minor to serious injuries. 

“From what we can determine right now one boat turned into the path of another. Everybody in each boat was ejected," White said.

The other boat, which was operated by Kelly Wise, of Atlantic, Iowa, was headed upstream. Both boats suffered extensive damage, according to the crash report.

Troopers arrested Wise, 59, less than two hours after the crash for allegedly boating while intoxicated, according to a highway patrol arrest report.

White said officials have not determined this as the cause of the crash.

“When we work a lot of these crashes, sometimes there are several contributing factors. So we just don’t know exactly what occurred last night," he said. 

Missouri State Highway Patrol crash reports show this boating death marks the second this year in Troop F.


UPDATE 1:09 p.m.: MSHP tweeted Sunday afternoon that there is a temporary 'No Wake/Idle Speed' restriction at the Lake of the Ozarks as crews continue to search for Jason Russell.

ORIGINAL: One person is missing and five others hurt after two boats collided at Lake of the Ozarks on Saturday.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol boat incident report, the collision happened near the four mile mark of the Osage Arm around 10 p.m. Saturday.

One boat was traveling upstream when it collided with another traveling downstream.

Jason Russell, 39, of Eugene, Missouri is missing following the crash.

Nathan Sneller, 37, of Jefferson City was transported to University Hospital with serious injuries.

MSHP tweeted Sunday that the dive team would be in the area to search for Russell.



Check back for more on this developing story.

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