Grass Lake 120 MPH Boat Crash During Thursday Night Drag Boat Racing

Lake County Sheriff’s Marine Unit Deputies, standing by at the weekly boat race, responded about 7:30 p.m. June 8, 2017 to Grass Lake, nearly Blarney Island, in unincorporated Antioch, for a boat crash with injuries.

Marine Unit Deputies were already in the area for the weekly boat races on Thursday on Grass Lake, sponsored by the Northern Illinois Drag Boat Association.

Preliminary investigation shows a 1976, 17’ Rodek boat, being operated by a 59 year-old man from Bristol, Wisconsin, was participating in the weekly boat race. During the race, it is estimated the speed of the boat reached speeds above 120MPH. After encountering a possible wake in the water, the boat crashed. The boat rolled several times and the operator was ejected.

The boat operator, who was wearing a personal floatation device and helmet, was initially unconscious in the water before being rescued by personnel monitoring the boat races. He regained consciousness and was transported to Level I Trauma Center Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, via ambulance. His injuries were believed to be non-life threatening.

The incident is under investigation by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit. The racecourse length is 800 feet and is known to involve choppy open waters on Grass Lake. Thursday night racing is run by the Northern Illinois Drag Boat Association.

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