County sees boat accident and fire over 4th weekend
by Michelle Babcock
July 09, 2014 12:00 AM | 2868 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A fire early Friday left a house on Bear Cave Trail in the Deer Run subdivision with some damage, fire officials said. <br> Special to the Tribune
A fire early Friday left a house on Bear Cave Trail in the Deer Run subdivision with some damage, fire officials said.
Special to the Tribune
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Joseph Tofil
Joseph Tofil
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A Canton man was arrested and charged with boating under the influence during the Fourth of July holiday weekend after a boat wreck on Lake Allatoona Saturday left five people injured, including a 4-month-old child, officials said.

But for the most part, law enforcement agencies in Cherokee County reported a quiet holiday weekend. A fire in south Cherokee damaged a home, but no one was injured, and there were no serious motor vehicle accidents, reports showed.

Joseph Tofil, 50, of Canton, was arrested and charged with boating under the influence in a Saturday boat crash following the Allatoona Yacht Club fireworks show, said Mark McKinnon, an officer with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

None of the injuries from the boating accident were life-threatening, and all of the people who were injured in the crash were taken to Cartersville Medical Center, he said.

The accident happened in the White community on the Cherokee and Bartow County border, at the mouth of Illinois Creek.

“DNR immediately transported them to the nearest boat ramp for medical attention,” McKinnon said. “The boat crash is currently under investigation with DNR Law Enforcement Division rangers working around the clock to determine the cause of the incident.”

McKinnon said witnesses reported a ski boat was trying to pass a cabin cruiser from behind when the wreck happened.

“Witnesses stated that the ski boat hit the cabin cruiser from the rear and went up and over the boat, causing significant damage to the vessel,” McKinnon explained. “The operator of the ski boat was found to be impaired and arrested for boating under the influence.”

McKinnon said the DNR is not releasing the names of victims since the investigation is still underway.

Aside from the boat wreck Saturday, no other incidents or injuries were reported on Lake Allatoona during the Fourth of July holiday period, DNR figures show.

On Georgia waterways statewide, DNR rangers reported 36 cases of individuals boating under the influence, 11 incidents, 10 injuries and one fatality in Brunswick.

In southern Cherokee, a fire in the early morning hours Friday left a house on Bear Cave Trail in the Deer Run subdivision with some damage, said Cherokee County Fire and Emergency Services spokesman Tim Cavender.

“Firefighters were able to get a quick stop on the fire within minutes after arrival,” Cavender said of the county and Woodstock firefighters. “The majority of the damage was located at the back of the house.”

Cavender said multiple houses were evacuated when the fire happened at about 3 a.m. because of the possible danger from embers. However, no injuries were reported. Cavender said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Cherokee authorities said there were no fatalities in the county during the 78-hour holiday travel period.

Lt. Jay Baker with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office reported five DUI arrests and 12 wrecks, resulting in 10 injuries.

Last Fourth of July holiday period, the Sheriff’s Office recorded 37 wrecks resulting in nine injuries and five DUI arrests.

During the holiday period in Cherokee County, the Georgia State Patrol reported five DUI arrests, two crashes resulting in one injury, 61 citations and 72 warnings, said spokeswoman Tracey Watson.

Statewide, the GSP reported 302 DUI arrests, 571 wrecks with 303 injuries and four fatalities, 10,000 citations and 16,332 warnings, Watson said.

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