A teenager was critically injured Sunday afternoon when he was struck by a boat while kayaking on American Lake in Lakewood.
The boater didn’t stop and Lakewood police were working to identify that person. The department’s Marine Service Unit and persons crimes detectives are investigating. They will be back out at American Lake today, Lakewood police Lt. Heidi Hoffman said.
The 14-year-old boy, identified as David Ross, was wearing a bright-colored life jacket and paddling a kayak on American Lake between Silcox Island the Veterans Affairs property, Lakewood police reported. Shortly after 1:30 p.m., he was struck by a motor boat.
Ross was found unconscious. A passing fisherman towed him to shore and bystanders started CPR, Lakewood firefighters reported. Paramedics arrived and transported the boy to Madigan Army Medical Center with life threatening injuries.
The boy’s father told KIRO TV that the teen underwent more than five hours of surgery after the collision.
Ross remained in intensive care today.
No one witnessed the collision. However, others told Lakewood police officers that a white 19- to 20-foot white Cutty Cabin pleasure craft with full mooring canvas had been speeding across the lake for most of the day. They described it as a Bayliner or Rienell-type boat, police reported.
“We are just interested in talking to whomever was on that boat,” Hoffman said.
Officers inspected five boats as they left the lake Sunday for possible damage but didn’t find anything suspicious, Hoffman said.
The boy’s kayak was recovered.
“It was pretty busted up and there were what appeared to be prop marks on it,” Hoffman said.
Lakewood police encourage anyone with information about the collision to call 911 or the department’s non-emergency line at 253-830-5000.
UPDATE: Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers is offering up to $1,000 for information leading to a break in this incident.
Reach Crime Stoppers at 253-591-5959. Tipsters may remain anonymous.