DNR spokesperson: Investigation into fatal boating accident on Stonewall Jackson Lake ‘ongoing’

HORNER – A 29-year-old woman from Indiana was killed over the Fourth of July weekend in a fatal boating accident on Stonewall Jackson Lake in Lewis County.

Sarah Danielle Hutchinson, of New Albany, Indiana, died from injuries suffered following the incident, which investigators say occurred just after 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.

The accident occurred when a male driver was pulling three women on a tube near the Vandalia boat launch off Skin Creek Road, according to a spokesperson for the W.Va. Division of Natural Resources Police.

“A male driver was pulling three females on a tube near Vandalia boat launch,” Andy Malinoski, director of marketing and communications for the West Virginia Department of Commerce, wrote in an emailed statement. “They came too close to the shore causing the tube to crash into a rock wall.”

Hutchinson was fatally injured by the impact and the other two women were in serious condition and life-flighted to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown. As of Tuesday afternoon, the two women were in stable condition, Malinoski said.

The DNR Police Patrol were on scene “within minutes,” he said, but declined to comment on whether any charges were expected to be filed because the investigation is ongoing.

Malinoski noted that none of the women were wearing personal floatation devices.

Ahead of the holiday weekend, the DNR sent out a press release with boating safety tips, which may be viewed here.

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