VINTON, La. — A weekend boating accident killed an 8-year-old Texas boy, and a man from the same Texas town has been arrested on drunken driving and other charges, Louisiana authorities said Monday.
Damian Haines of Vidor, Texas, and two other boys were riding in an inflated tube behind a boat Sunday when the boat turned and the tube hit the bank on a southwest Louisiana river near the Texas state line, throwing them out, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said in a news release.
The accident killed Haines, whose mother was among four passengers in the 19-foot (5.8-meter) bass boat with a 150-horsepower motor, said Adam Einck, spokesman for the agency’s enforcement division, in an email. A second boy was taken to a hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, and the third boy had minor injuries, he said in the news release.
Einck said Eddie L. Dunwoody, 35, of Vidor, was in the Calcasieu Parish jail on five charges including vehicular homicide — that is, killing someone while driving drunk. If formally charged and convicted, Dunwoody would face a mandatory minimum sentence of five years at hard labor and a $2,000 fine, with maximums of 30 years and $15,000.
He also was arrested on charges of vehicular negligent injury, DWI with child endangerment, reckless operation of a watercraft and violating a no-wake zone, Einck said. Vehicular negligent injury and DWI with child endangerment each carry up to six months in jail; DWI with child endangerment carries a minimum of 10 days in jail for a first offense.
Einck said in an email that he doesn’t know whether Dunwoody has an attorney who could comment.
Dunwoody is not related to any of the boys, Einck said.
The accident occurred about 5 p.m. Sunday on Old Sabine River near Niblett’s Bluff Park. The park is about 20 miles (32 kms) from Vidor and about 25 miles (40 kms) from Beaumont, Texas — or about 100 miles (160 kms) east-northeast of Houston.