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Originally published Tuesday, September 30, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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1 killed, 7 injured in Lake Tapps boat collision

Two boats collided on Lake Tapps late Monday night, leaving one person dead and seven others injured, according to Bonney Lake police.

Seattle Times staff reporter

A 41-year-old Bonney Lake man was booked into the Pierce County Jail early today on investigation of homicide by watercraft and two counts of assault by watercraft after a collision on Lake Tapps Monday night that killed one man and seriously injured two women.

Ronald C. Scott, 49, of Bonney Lake, suffered blunt-force injuries to his head, chest and leg and drowned, according to the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office.

Scott was driving a recreational boat that was struck from behind by a ski boat around 10:30 p.m. Monday, said Bonney Lake police Officer Tony Rice.

The recreational boat was "trolling around" the south end of Lake Tapps, in between Inlet and Interlake islands, at low speed when the faster ski boat, allegedly driven by the 41-year-old, "ran up over the back" of the recreation boat "and veered off to the right side," killing Scott, Rice said.

Two women on the recreational boat suffered serious leg injuries, Rice said. One was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle; the other was first taken to Tacoma General Hospital before she was transferred to Harborview, he said. The women's names have not been released.

A male passenger on one of the boats — it's not clear which one — suffered a compound fracture of his leg and is being treated at a local hospital, Rice said. Four other people received minor injuries.

Speed, alcohol and the darkness are being investigated as factors in the crash, he said.

"The lighting is so poor out there at night, so poor visibility, going too fast and alcohol are not a good combination," Rice said.

Detectives are still trying to piece together the chain of events, a task made difficult by the number of people involved, Rice said. All are cooperating with police. Most are between the ages of 25 and 35, he said, though both drivers were older.

"We're still trying to figure out who was on what boat," Rice said, adding that rescuers plucked at least two people from the water. On Monday night, one emergency responder said that nine people were injured in the crash, but Rice said it now appears that a total of nine people were involved.

The 41-year-old suspect is expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.

Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or sgreen@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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