State investigators believe an Auburn man was killed in the first of two collisions his boat was involved in on Lake Martin Friday night, May 3.
David George Goodling, 56, who died, was the operator of a Chris Craft vessel that was struck twice about an hour apart near the Bridge to Nowhere, Capt. Gary Buchanan, the commander of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Marine Patrol, said Sunday.
Marine patrol troopers said a Sea Ray boat operated by Norman Ray Harris and Goodling’s boat collided almost head-on at approximately 8:30 p.m. Friday.
Harris contacted a friend and was transported to Baptist South. Based on current information, investigators said there were no other passengers in either boat, Buchanan said. Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, based on evidence in the boats and other information that is not being released, Buchanan said.
According to Buchanan, a separate boat struck Goodling's boat in the same area of the lake about an hour after the first crash. The third boat turned around, located Goodling's boat and towed it to The Ridge Marina. The operator of the boat called 911, reported hitting Goodling's boat, and said it had significant damage from a previous crash and reported a body in the boat. None of the four people in the third boat were injured, Buchanan said.
“We believe the fatality occurred at the first collision,” Buchanan said in an email to The Outlook. “The first collision was almost head-on. The second was more of a glancing blow.”
Marine patrol troopers were notified of the second crash at approximately 9:45 p.m. Friday, responded to The Ridge Marina and began their investigation, which continues, Buchanan said.