The Missouri Highway Patrol Water Division is investigating the death of an 8-year-old Waynesville child on Lake of the Ozarks over the weekend.

Investigators say the child was hit by the propeller of the boat he and his family were riding on.

Unclear is whether the child fell from the boat, or jumped into the water from the stern at the wrong time.

“The call came out on Saturday Afternoon, that an individual had been struck by a propeller. Responding units arrived on scene and found that an 8-year-old child was unfortunately deceased”  says Corporal Kyle Green with the Patrol.

He tells KRMS News the boy’s father was the operator of the boat and he thought the boat was in neutral when it was really in reverse when the child went into the water “in talking with the father, who was the operate of the boat…he thought he had placed the boat in neutral when in fact it was in reverse, and so while the boat wasn’t moving backwards the prop was still moving.”

Corporal Green also says trying to prevent this kind of accident is an ongoing effort for the Patrol “if you are operating a boat, you need to make sure your boat is actually in neutral…because like we said, this vessel wasn’t even moving but the prop was still spinning and unfortunately the child didn’t know that and neither did the operator.”

Corporal Green says the child died at the 6-mile marker of the Grand Glaize arm of the lake.

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