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UPDATE: Memorial Service for Man who Died in Boat Crash at Lake Oroville

According to Cal Fire Butte County there was a report of a boating accident on Lake Oroville in the area of West Branch Bridge on Sunday evening around 6:30 p.m.

Posted: May. 14, 2018 6:52 PM
Updated: Jun. 15, 2018 3:20 PM

UPDATE: 6/15/2018 12:21 p.m.

OROVILLE, Calif.—Drew Walker Gerken lost his life at Lake Oroville on Mother’s Day when the boat he was in struck the shore.

Drew was 27 years old and a helicopter pilot.

Drew’s family and friends are asking for a local helicopter pilot to do a fly over during Drew’s memorial service on Saturday.

If you are interested in helping the family remember Drew, you can contact them at 519-1689.
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OROVILLE, Calif.
—According to Cal Fire Butte County there was a report of a boating accident on Lake Oroville in the area of West Branch Bridge on Sunday evening around 6:30 p.m.

First responders found that a boat had struck the shore in Dark Canyon area in the north side of the channel.

The boat crash ejected six people.

There were 30 total personnel assigned to the incident including six truck companies, and a helicopter.

Units arrived on scene within 25 minutes to find one victim dead in the water and five others injured.

Officials cannot discuss the extent of the injuries at this time, but say that they are significant.

The operator of the boat was 29-year-old Brandon Smith. He was arrested on BUI, Boating Under the Influence, but later released on bail.  He is being charged with involuntary manslaughter.

The ages of the people on the boat range from 17-years-old to 29-years-old.

The victim of the crash was 27-year-old Drew Gerken of the Paradise/Chico area.

Officials estimate the boat was going about 30 miles per hour when it crashed into the bank.

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