The brother of North Scott School Board president Joe Slater was killed and a well-known Park View resident was injured early Saturday morning in a boating accident on the Mississippi River.
David Slater, 50, a Davenport businessman, died when he was thrown from a jon boat that was carrying seven passengers who were embarking on a duck hunting trip.
Also killed was Thomas Trainer of Canton, Ill., and one of the five injured passengers was Park View resident Paul Viner, 57, the former Scott County Soil and Water Conservationist.
According to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the accident happened at approximately 6 a.m. when the hunters, including a 9-year-old boy, were heading to their hunting blind on opening day of duck season.
While traveling approximately one mile north of Fairport, Iowa, the boat struck a concrete mile marker on the river. Reports indicated that the early morning conditions included fog.
Slater was tossed from the boat, and Trainer was thrown into the buoy. The other five passengers were injured, and as of Monday afternoon four remained hospitalized.
According to a Care Pages update, Viner is hospitalized at University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City. He suffered a subarachnoid hematoma (a condition where blood collects beneath the membrane that covers the brain), kidney damage, and also cracked and displaced the L3 vertebra in his back.
Viner underwent back surgery on Monday, and according to his daughter, Jessica, the doctor said “he has never seen so much damage and such a bad break without paralysis, and that Paul is a very lucky man.”
A few hours after the surgery, Paul was able to wiggle his toes on command.
The 9-year-old boy was the only individual in the boat wearing a life jacket, although the vessel, which was rated for 12 passengers, was carrying a sufficient number of life jackets.
Also on board were Danny J. Kirk, 66, of Rock Island, Timothy Schutt, 26, of East Moline, and William Leitner, 54, of Canton. The boy is not being identified, and officials have not said who was driving the boat.
According to the DNR, the actions and quick response of an injured passenger on board the boat, along with nearby hunters and emergency fire and police personnel from Iowa, were instrumental in preventing additional casualties and in the recovery of one of the deceased victims.
The cause of the accident is currently under investigation by the Illinois DNR Conservation Police.