Boat accident on Osage River turns deadly

Christopher Winkler

Update: Thursday, September 8th at 11:00 a.m.: Services are underway for one of the men killed Saturday in a boat crash on the Osage River.Curtis Libbert, of Tebbetts, and Alvin Blackford, of Russelville, both died in the boating accident.Libbert's visitation was Wednesday night. His funeral started Thursday morning at 10:00 at St. Peter Catholic Church in Jefferson City.Blackford's visitation is set for 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday. His funeral will be held at 10:00 a.m. Friday. Both events are at Houser-Millard Funeral Home in Jefferson City.Charges have not been filed against the Christopher Winkler of Jefferson City. He was the driver of the boat who Troopers said caused the crash. Troopers said alcohol was a contributing factor in the crash.

Update: Tuesday, September 6 at 12:55 p.m.: The Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division on Tuesday said Christopher Winkler, the driver of the boat that hit two anchored boats in the Osage River late Saturday night, was arrested early Sunday morning.Police said he was processed at the Osage County Jail. They are still working on a report and probable cause statement to turn over to Osage County Prosecutor Amanda Grellner. Grellner will make the final decisions on what charges Winkler will face if any. Original Story: Two men are dead after a boat accident in the Osage River.

It happened in Bonnots Mill at about 11:40 Saturday night.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division said two boats were tied together and anchored in the middle of the Osage River.

And that's when another boat struck them from the front and continued over the two boats.

"We heard the boat come down the river and then it was just like a really loud crash, witness Krista Bonnot said.

Bonnot was sitting on the shore just yards from the scene.

"We heard people start screaming and yelling and they were just saying ~call for help, call 911, TM Bonnot said.

About half a mile from the conservation access ramp is where the accident occurred and it TMs where officials said two men were thrown overboard.

"We were just in shock, we couldn't believe that it had really happened, Bonnot said. There were people in the water and people that had jumped off in the water trying to look for somebody. They started to yell to cut the engines because they knew that people were in the water that they couldn't find."

Sunday the bodies of 33-year-old Curtis Libbert and 46-year-old Alvin Blackford were recovered.

On Sunday officials gathered evidence to figure out what exactly happened late Saturday night but they do believe alcohol was a contributing factor.

"It was night time and it was dark, Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Division Sgt. Jerry Callahan said. At this point alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor but as for any other specifics for the investigation it's still under investigation."

Bonnot saidwas a night she'll never forget.

"It was absolutely shocking, I don't think any of us will forget the sound or especially the people, Bonnot said. They were just screaming for somebody to come get them. It was horrible, absolutely horrible."

More than 20 people were involved in the accident Saturday night and four others in the boats that were hit were also injured and taken to the hospital.

Since the highway patrol thinks alcohol played a role in the crash-they'll be working with the Osage County Prosecutors office to determine if charges will be filed.