St. Charles woman is killed in lake crash
By Bill Bryan
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
A getaway weekend of fun with girlfriends at the Lake of the Ozarks turned deadly for a woman from St. Charles, who was killed when two boats collided on the lake late Saturday. Investigators said drunken boating contributed to the accident.
Seven other people were injured in the collision, in which a 36-foot cruiser containing eight people crashed nearly head-on into a 29-foot, open-bow runabout, which had nine people on board. The accident happened about 10:30 p.m. at the 6-mile marker of the lake's main channel, near the Village of Four Seasons.
Killed instantly was Linda Driller, 40, of St. Charles. She was a nurse at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital. She is survived by her husband, Penn Driller, and their two children, Claudia, 11, and Taylor, 15.
"She was a wonderful mother and a great daughter-in-law," said her mother-in-law, Carol Driller. "She was a good person."
Linda Driller was one of eight women from St. Charles who were in the runabout, which was being operated by Michael Schaeffer, 52, of St. Charles. The women were spending the weekend at a condo at the lake.
The accident happened shortly after the two boats had left two different nightspots on the lake, said Sgt. Nick Humphrey of the Missouri Water Patrol.
The runabout had been at Dock Nockers, and the cruiser had been at Frankie & Louie's, Humphrey said.
"That's a party area, a real problem spot for us," Humphrey said of the area of the crash. He said the patrol had set up a checkpoint there last weekend. "Of the 58 boaters we stopped, 10 of them were arrested for drunken boating."
In Saturday night's crash, Scott Inman, 32, of Rolla, Mo., was cited for boating under the influence, Humphrey said, and the county prosecutor could seek a manslaughter charge.
Humphrey said Schaeffer, the other operator, may wind up being charged with drunken boating, too.
Humphrey said there was no report of speeding or a lack of lighting being factors in the accident.
Schaeffer was taken to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach with moderate injuries, and three other occupants of his boat were hospitalized - Kathy Felder, 45, and Joyce Berkowitz, 52, were taken by helicopter to the University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia; both were in serious condition. Jerri Graves, 52, was treated at Lake Regional for a broken arm.
Inman sustained minor injures. Of the seven passengers in his boat, six were from Rolla, and the seventh was from Columbia, Mo. Two of his passengers were injured - Candy Inman, 31, of Rolla, sustained moderate injuries, and Melissa Perez, 39, of Rolla, sustained minor injuries.
Originally Posted by Chris Sunkin
Well said Chris.
God Bless those dead and injured.
This is defintely a tragedy!
I do drink when I am on the water, but I drink while the key is off, and I drink water 30 to 60 munites before I leave. I never drink alcohol after dark.
There is a 30 mph night speed limit on Lake Travis. When I boat at night I am always looking for that one boat without lights. Boating at night without lights is VERY dangerous.
Two boats hit head on both drunk, who's at fault?? If I was on a jury, their is no way I could convict only one of them on manslauter of course thats why they will try them seperate, one will get all the blame one will get a slap on the wrist.
WILL it just sux
R.I.P, read it in our local newspaper this morning. At LOTO (for those that do not know) there is many bars/night clubs you can go to by boat, alot of people drink and have a good time, but as you can see the ones who drink and drive a boat............plus i have been on the water at night on LOTO and you can see rather easy with the amount of shoreline lite and also running lights. Both drivers had to be wasted not to see the other boat approaching, 36ft and 29ft......not small by any means.......
Last edited by cigarette38topgun; 08-07-2006 at 09:53 AM.
It disturbs me greatly all the people we come in contact with while boating that think you “MUST” be drinking when you boat.
There is a mindset that must be changed, or none of us are safe on the water.
The other thing that concerns me is that you can have a licensed designated driver in a car that is sober and safe while the passengers are not.
But if you own a boat, “You are the Captain”.
It is the responsibility of the Captain to know the waters, know the weather and conditions have all the necessary safety gear on board, educate the passengers on what to do in an emergency, and most importantly be sober and smart for the safety of your vessel and passengers.
A captain that drinks and puts a person at the helm (even though sober) that does not have experience with his boat, maybe does not have much experience boating in general is not a responsible captain either.
If you own a boat and you drink and drive, then you are taking a big chance that I for one cannot afford to take and will not take. I just hope that I don’t boat on the same waters that you do and you don’t kill any of my friends or family.
where is everbody getting that one of the boats didn't have the nav lights on?
Last edited by cigarette38topgun; 08-07-2006 at 09:52 AM.
From the St Louis paperOriginally Posted by Sean H
"Humphrey said there was no report of speeding or a lack of lighting being factors in the accident."
But I boat out there every weekend night. Even when all lights are on, it can be difficult to see boat lights on moonless nights with all of dock and shoreline lights. Add to that the heavy traffic in a narrow lake.
It helps to know the lake well and have an extra pair of eyes for a lookout. It's easy in the confined space of the lake to to concentrate on one nearby boat and miss another coming at you.
Alum Metal Fab
Custom Marine Sales
Dave's Custom Boats
Diamond Performance Parts
Double R Performance
Elton Porter Insurance
Fastboats Marine Group
GGB Exhaust Technologies
Grand Sports Center
Ilmor High Performance Marine
Lake Cumberland Marine
Lake Havasu Boat Show
Marine Technology Inc
McLeod Design Group
Performance Boat Center
Performance Marine Trading
Potter Performance Engines
Ron Sporl Performance
Speed and Custom Marine
Total Dollar Insurance
Teague Custom Marine
Wake Zone Marine Insurance
Young Performance Marine