Boise man charged after deadly boating accident



Posted on August 14, 2009 at 2:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 29 at 9:11 AM

Video: Boat recovered from lake

MCCALL, Idaho -- Two people have died and 10 others were taken to the hospital after a late night boating accident on Payette Lake.

A Boise man identified as the driver and owner of the boat has been arrested and charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Authorities have recovered the bodies of a 41-year-old Shane Catlin and a 61-year-old Linda Catlin.

Lt. Dan Smith with the Valley County Sheriff's Office said the two victims were a mother and son.

Shane Catlin drowned while Linda Catlin died from hypothermia after being in the cold lake too long. Her body was found about three-quarters of a mile from the boat.

They were riding on 23-foot Malibu ski boat at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday when it hit some rocks, flipped and sank in the area of Cougar Island on Payette Lake. No one onboard was wearing a life jacket.

The accident was reported just after midnight.

Twelve people were on the boat, including eight adults and four children. The children range in ages from one to 13. The family is from the Boise.

Ten people were taken to McCall Memorial Hospital, with two admitted for observation. The rest were treated for hypothermia, bruises and scrapes and have since been released from the hospital.

The others on the boat have been identified at Joanne Catlin,41, Johnnie Catlin, 32, Madison Catlin, 1, Miya Catlin, 7, Micah Winfrey, 9, Caylen Winfrey, 13, Janelle Catlin, 31, Karleen Winfrey, 36, Quinton Winfrey, 37, and Ronald Stevens, 54, all of Boise.

Madison Catlin was flown by air ambulance to St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Boise. She was being treated for hypothermia.

Smith says alcohol is believed to be a factor in this accident. The driver of the boat, Ronald Stevens, has taken a blood alcohol test, but those results have not been released to the media.

Stevens was taken into custody this afternoon without incident and transported to the Valley County Jail.

He is charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and could face additional charges once the investigation is complete.

Deputies tell us Stevens is an experienced boater, but made a critical mistake by boating in a rocky area. That area of the lake is lit by two buoys, but the driver used them a channel marker and failed to avoid the dangerous zone.

The driver told authorities he was going about 15 mph when the boat struck the rocks. The speed limit on Payette Lake at night is 25 mph.

The boat has been recovered and was towed back to the dock.