Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game wardens have charged a Galveston resident in a motorboat-sailboat accident that left two people injured.
accused of failing to stop and render aid while operating a motorboat that collided with a sailboat in the Galveston Channel Sunday night.
Dustin Paul Lunsford, 28, was charged with violating section 31.104 of the state Parks and Wildlife Code, a felony offense that carries a sentence of between 2 and 10 years in jail and between $2,000 and $10,000 in possible fines.
After talking with boat owners at the Galveston Yacht Basin on Monday, game wardens found a damaged vessel they believed to be the motorboat that struck the sailboat on Sunday night.
The two occupants in the sailboat were taken to the University of Texas at Galveston Medical Branch Hospital on Sunday night. Scott Perry, 50, was taken to the hospital in serious condition and was placed in the intensive care unit. Celia Stastny, 68, suffered less serious injuries. Both Perry and Stastny are Galveston residents.
The motorboat-sailboat collision took place between 9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Sunday near Seawolf Fishing Pier off Galveston Island.
Game Warden Jaime Pendlebury said a motorboat struck the 27-foot sailboat on its starboard side, which knocked a hole in a rear section of the vessel.
Pendlebury also said the motorboat sped away after the collision.
Perry, who had been operating the sailboat under motor power, was thrown into the water from the collision. Stastny had been standing near the entrance to the cabin at the time of impact and was knocked into the cabin.
Pendlebury said Stastny pulled Perry from the water, and then used a cell phone to contact 911. The U.S. Coast Guard arrived to the accident site, took the injured couple to the hospital and towed the damaged sailboat back to the Galveston Yacht Basin.
Game wardens are continuing to investigate the case, including trying to determine whether alcohol consumption was a factor in the boat crash. They were also busy throughout the state as they investigated multiple cases of boating while intoxicated during the Memorial Day weekend. BWI is a major cause of boating accidents and fatalities.
Texas game wardens arrested 63 suspects for boating while intoxicated and two for driving while intoxicated.