WEST MILFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey State Police were searching Tuesday for the operator of a boat that smashed into another boat in Passaic County, and then took off.
As CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported, four people were hurt – two of them critically – in the incident in Greenwood Lake in West Milford.
The damaged 18-foot Bayliner was hit in the back when the other boat struck around 8:36 p.m. Monday. Two couples were on board when it happened.
Gainer spoke to a woman on the boat whose husband was severely injured.
“All of a sudden, something hit me in the head and I was drenched, and I turn around and I look and there’s no windshield. I’ve got two men unconscious — I thought they were dead,” said Maureen Lane, 74. “Blood all over the place.”
Lane and her husband, Edwin, 72, own the boat. They were coming back from dinner with another couple, Eileen and Robert Roon — 72 and 76, respectively — around 8:30 p.m. Monday when all of a sudden, four of them were struck in the head.
“Eileen and I were sitting in front in the bow. The two guys were right here,” Maureen Lane said.
New Jersey State Police said an unidentified vessel – possibly a ski boat – struck the stern of the Bayliner and became airborne – traveling over the top of the boat.
It happened north of the Sportsman’s Marina.
Lane said none of the group heard the other vessel coming, and she did not get a good look at it.
“There’s no windshield, there’s glass everywhere. I look, my husband’s unconscious; his head back with blood gurgling, you know? I wasn’t looking at the water,” she said.
The men were airlifted to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson in critical condition.
“Broken clavicles, bruised lungs, fractured skull, fractured eye, head bleeding, bleeding in the brain,” Lane said.
Eileen Roon had to get staples.
“She got hit in the head as well. They all got hit. I mean, it was — I don’t think they saw anything coming,” said Roon’s daughter, Jennifer Buttenmuller.
When it comes to sending a message to the person who left the scene?
“What do you say to somebody who leaves an accident like this?” Lane said. “There’s nothing you can say.”
But police have plenty to say. They are offering a reward for the other vessel’s operator.
Anyone with information is asked to call Trooper Shane Diehl of the Carteret Station at (732) 541-0491.