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UPDATE: Suspect found who hit swimmer on Tygart River

Published: Jul. 19, 2020 at 4:04 PM EDT
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MARION CO., W.Va (WDTV) - UPDATE 7/20/2020 1:30 p.m. - Police have identified the boat involved which hit a swimmer in the Tygart River, its operator and three other occupants.

Lawrence Messina of the DNR says no charges have been filed as investigators continue to pursue additional information.

The swimmer is in serious but stable condition.

UPDATE 7/20/2020 9:30 a.m. - Police found the person who they suspect hit a man swimming on the Tygart River with a boat.

Lawrence Messina, a DNR Police spokesperson, confirmed a suspect was located, but nothing further was immediately released.

“DNR Police thanks the public for their assistance with this case,” Messina said.

An update on the 22-year-old victim’s condition was also not immediately available.

ORIGINAL STORY 7/19/2020 4:04 p.m.

According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WV DNR), a man swimming in the Tygart River on Saturday was struck and injured by a boat that then fled the scene.

The 22-year-old victim was struck around 4:35 p.m., sustained serious injuries, and was transported to Ruby Hospital in Morgantown by the Marion County Rescue Squad.

Initial witness accounts described the boat that struck the swimmer as a white runabout “speed boat” that may have a yellow zig-zag pattern on its sides.

According to the WV DNR, the boat was occupied by approximately five white, middle-aged individuals and was driven by a white male. After the boat struck the swimmer, it slowed and its occupants looked back at the victim, but it then sped away north on the Tygart River toward the Benton’s Ferry Bridge.

Prior to striking the swimmer, the boat and its occupants would have been operating on the Tygart River south of the Benton’s Ferry bridge in an area of the Tygart River that is lined with numerous homes and camps and is a popular boating spot that is frequented by many watercraft.

The WV DNR asks anyone with any information regarding this incident, including the identity of the owner(s), operator, and occupants of the boat involved, is requested to contact the WV DNR LES, through the Marion County 911 Center at (304) 367-5300 or at the DNR District 1 Headquarters, in Farmington, Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm , at (304) 825-6787.

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