VERNON – A Vernon teenager remains in critical condition in hospital after he was run over by a powerboat on Okanagan Lake Saturday evening.
Miles Wohlford, 14, was with a group of friends tubing on the northern arm of the lake off Westside Road near Mary Anns Road around 6:10 p.m.
RCMP Cpl. Gerry Kovacs says the 49-year-old woman driving the boat was making waves when Wohlford fell off the tube. He says the boat’s propeller hit the teen as it circled around.
Wohlford suffered a critical head injury and broken bones.
Kovacs says the boat operator was creating wave action for the tubers. He points out people drive boats differently when they are towing tubers. They don’t go in a straight line.
He says for boaters there are no traffic rules.
"There are no lines on the water like on a road, no traffic control, anything goes."
There were people in the boat acting as spotters. No alcohol was involved.
VIGILANCE AND CAUTION
Playing on the water is fun, but it can turn in an instant while boating.
“A lot of people spend a lot of time on and near the water. Vigilance and caution, that’s the message from this tragedy plain and simple,” he says.
As for the exact cause of the crash and the possibility charges will be laid, Kovacs won’t comment.
“We have to let the investigators have some time to do what they do best.”
RCMP are looking for witnesses to the boating accident. They are asked to contact the Vernon detachment at 250-545-7171.
Meanwhile, a website has been launched to raise money for Wohlford’s family.
Cindy Meissner created the site Miracles for Miles on fundraze.com.
She says Miles and his family, including his mom Rani Lund, his father Todd Wohlford, his sister Taigan and brother Jayden, have a very long road ahead of them and “any support we can offer them will go a long ways to their recovery.”
The family isn’t talking to the media as they focus their attention on Miles’ recovery.
He played hockey and lacrosse and his teams are organizing more fundraisers.
Close to $10,000 has already been raised on the website alone.
A video posted to the Miracles for Miles fundraising website.
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