Search continues for 19-year-old in Alum Creek Reservoir

The search for a woman who was struck by a boat Sunday afternoon has resumed.
The search for a woman who was struck by a boat Sunday afternoon has resumed.

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio (WCMH) — The search for a woman who was struck by a boat Sunday afternoon will end at dusk Monday and resume Tuesday.

Delaware County Sheriff’s Office deputies fear the victim, a 19-year-old woman from Australia, was lost after she was injured while water skiing at Alum Creek State Park.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources has not officially released the identity of the victim, but she was identified by Ohio Living Youth Programs as 19-year-old Morgan Montgomery of Adelaide, South Australia.

Montgomery is a counselor with the church camp, according to the group.

IMG_7079Dive teams launched a recovery operation near the beach just before 5 p.m. Sunday. After four hours of searching with divers and firefighters using sonar, Montgomery was not found.

Searchers began going back into the water around 9 Monday morning.

As of 11:30 a.m., crews reported finding multiple pieces of a damaged life jacket.

Genoa Township Fire Department Deputy Chief Joe Ponzi said the woman was wearing a life jacket before she was struck.

“The initial report, from the 911 caller, was that during the time that she was struck by the other boat, that life jacket was ripped off her,” he said.

Andrew Hollenback with the Ohio Division of Watercraft is asking Alum Creek visitors to be mindful of the search efforts and steer clear of the crews.

The search area has been designed with white floating markers.

“In that portion of the lake there is no speed regulation,” he said. “It’s an open zone. there is no horsepower limit.”

“The area she was in is a ski area. It’s what we consider an open area.”

In a statement, the LYC camp said:

There was a tragic water skiing accident this afternoon at the Ohio LYC Camp. Morgan Montgomery from Australia was down in the water and was run over by another boat that was traveling at a high rate of speed. The boat and driver were not connected with the LYC camp.

Morgan was a much loved counsellor and an inspiration to be around, and this has been a very difficult experience for the campers and staff. Mr. Monson and Dr. Winnail spoke with the campers and staff this evening at a general camp meeting, and the ministers counselled with all of the campers in their dorms. Please join us in heartfelt and fervent prayer for everyone who has been impacted by this tragedy. We have been able to speak with Morgan’s parents in Australia. They will certainly appreciate everyone’s prayers, and they have asked for prayers on behalf of the driver of the boat involved in the accident.

All boats that ODNR officials believe may be involved in the incident have been impounded while the investigation continues.

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