Weekend Boating Accident Leaves Two Men Severely Injured - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/18/06

Weekend Boating Accident Leaves Two Men Severely Injured

It was a record high attendance at Buffalo Springs Lake today, but it all turned tragic after a boating accident. This is the second year the "Circle Track and Drag Boat Racing" came to Buffalo Springs Lake, and just as the weekend was wrapping up, a boat lost control and hit an 18-year-old man on a jet ski. Both men are seriously injured.

The jet skier, 18-year-old Mark Stargel is in critical condition at University Medical Center, it's confirmed he did lose a leg in the crash. The driver of the boat, 56-year-old James Greg Renegar suffered a head injury and is in satisfactory condition. 

"It was pretty traumatic."  Scott Metzker was on the beach when he saw this boat crash into what he thought at the time, was just a piece of land. 

"It looked like he hit the ridge but a jet ski was back there also. It went up and it's lucky he didn't roll," said Metzker.

Video just minutes after the accident, shows an EMS truck carrying 18-year-old Mark Stargel to be air-lifted to UMC. Mark was on the water during the race to patrol the shore, and just as the boats came around the last turn, one of the drivers lost control. 

Metzker recollects, "he was right behind first. He tried to cut the corner and he just didn't make it."

With just 3 races left in the day, a jet ski was sitting near the shore as a boat going over 100 miles per hour collided head on with the jet ski leaving 2 men seriously injured.

Mark lost a leg from the accident, and the driver, James Greg Renegar suffered head trauma. Race fans tell us the two men were friends, and both knew that with racing, comes risk. 

"It's something you don't ever want to see in racing, but, it's just a part of it. And I hope he's alright and everybody can move on."

Tonight, families and friends are asking for your help. If you would like to make a donation to help raise money for medical bills, you can call Buffalo Springs Lake at (806) 747-3353.

Also tonight, we spoke with Buffalo Springs Lake management, they tell us this was an unsanctioned race, meaning each participant signed a release form before they hit the water.

Greg Thornton, General Manager of Buffalo Springs Lake says, "the two people involved were putting on the race, one racer, one patrolling the shoreline. It is unfortunate. If you talk to either one, they know unfortunate things happen. They would want the races to go on, I'm sure."

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