Tragedy on the waters of Clear Lake
10:07 AM CDT on Sunday, October 12, 2003
By Mike Zientek / 11 News
Some fun times on the lake ended in tragedy when two boats collided, killing a father.
The overnight boating tragedy killed a man, injured a woman and left two others barely escaping with their lives.
This all happened at Clear Lake Shores in Galveston county.
Mother Nature provided the perfect Saturday morning for taking a boat out on Clear Lake, but in the middle of the water a crew carried out a somber task, raising a boat involved in an accident that took one man’s life.
“Very strange because it’s usually pretty quiet, especially this part at night.” Freddy Govea rents out boats here and says the incident is the ultimate worry for those who live on the lake. “I think a lot more dangerous out here than in a car because you’re kind of out in the open.”
The Clear Lake Shores police chief says two boats slammed into each other around 1:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
The impact splintered the front of a boat owned by 56-year-old Stanley Barnes who died at the scene.
A passenger on his boat, 21-year-old Lacey Benton, was taken by Life Flight to Memorial Hermann Hospital. She made the 9-1-1 call.
“I would see him outside and he’d say ‘You want to go fishing tomorrow?’ and I’d say ‘Yeah’ and he’d go ‘Be here at 7:30’,” said neighbor Allen Edwards.
Those who knew Stanley Barnes are already missing the man who loved the water so much. Part of the mystery is that he respected that water too.
“I’ve been out with Stan. Stan has always been a very conservative driver. He doesn’t drive real fast. He doesn’t get real close to things. That’s why it shocked me so much,” said Edwards.
The two men on the other boat jumped to safety and swam away. Their boat is the one that sank.
Others still zipped across Clear Lake, but it was tough to completely enjoy this Saturday.
By early Saturday evening, the towing crew had not been able to get the boat out.
At last check Lacey Benton was in good condition at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
Authorities say they still don’t know exactly how it happened. They don’t know who hit whom and they don’t know if alcohol played any part at all.
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