LAKE MARTIN, Ala. (WRBL) – Troopers with the Marine Patrol division of ALEA continue to investigate Friday night’s deadly boat crash on Lake Martin that claimed the life of an Auburn man. Capt. Gary Buchanan, Patrol Commander with Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, tells News 3 investigators have now determined that two separate crashes occurred.
Investigators say David George Goodling, 56, of Auburn was killed and Norman Ray Harris, 62, of Leeds was injured when their boats collided.
Marine Patrol Troopers say a Sea Ray boat operated by Harris and a Chris Craft boat operated by Goodling collided almost head-on near the “Bridge to Nowhere” at approximately 8:30 pm Friday night.
“Mr. Harris contacted a friend and was transported to Baptist South. As far as investigators know at this time, there were no other passengers in either boat. Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in this crash based on evidence in the boats and other information that is not being released at this time,” said Captain Buchanan.
Investigators say later, at approximately 9:30 pm, a separate boat struck Mr. Goodling’s boat in the same area of the lake. This third boat turned around, located Goodling’s boat, and towed it to The Ridge Marina. The operator of this third boat called 911 and reported hitting Goodling’s boat. He also reported the boat to have significant damage from a previous crash. Further, he reported a body in the boat. None of the four people in this third boat were injured.
Marine Patrol Troopers were notified of the second crash at approximately 9:45 pm Friday. They responded to The Ridge Marina and began their investigation. The crash is still under investigation.
Agents investigating two crashes on Lake Martin after Auburn man’s body found in crashed boat