Fatality: Girl, 17, Fell Off Pontoon Boot, Hit By Propeller

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A 17-year-old girl died after falling from the front of a pontoon boat and being hit by the propeller on the Fourth of July, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said Tuesday.

The boat’s operator was arrested on charges of DWI, vehicular homicide and reckless operation in the death of Madison Bradley of Slidell, a news release said.

Others on the boat told enforcement agents that Bradley and a male passenger were standing in front of the boat’s guard rail when the boat hit the wake of another vessel, and both fell off. The male, whose age was not given, suffered minor injuries but Bradley was severely injured and never resurfaced, the statement said.

Department agents were notified about 5:40 p.m. Monday that a boater was missing, and searchers from the department and the Livingston and Ascension parish sheriff's offices found Bradley's body in the Blind River about 8 p.m.

Conviction on a vehicular homicide charge brings a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison. DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six month in jail. The maximum sentence for reckless operation is a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.

Bradley’s body was turned over to the Livingston Parish Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.