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One rescued, one killed after boat crashes near McAlpine Dam

FLOYD COUNTY, Ind. -- After two days of searching, officials have located the body of a man thrown overboard following a boat crash on the Ohio River.

On July 1, a boat carrying 26-year-old Donald Watson of Louisville, Kentucky and 28-year-old Levell Washington of Jefferson, Indiana crashed into the upper gates of the McAlpine Dam, throwing both men overboard.

Rescue crews were dispatched to locate the two men after witnesses saw the boat capsize around 6:30 p.m.

Washington, authorities say, was swept through the dam’s gates after he managed to jump from the boat and was rescued from the Ohio River by the Clarksville Fire Department.

An initial investigation revealed that an 18-inch fiberglass boat had been purchased by Watson the week of the crash. Officials say it had been Watson’s first time operating the boat on the river.

Officials say the boat’s motor suffered an apparent malfunction near the dam and both men had been wearing life jackets prior to the accident.

The body of 28-year-old Donald Watson was recovered around 4:40 p.m. on July 3 after Indiana Conservation Officers and friends of Watson searched downstream of the Sherman Minton bridge where he was located in the Ohio River.

The Floyd County Coroner’s Office ruled the drowning accidental as the preliminary cause of death pending lab results from the toxicology.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene of the accident including Clarksville Fire Department, Clarksville Police Department,  New Albany Fire Department, New Albany Police Department, Indiana State Police, Louisville Fire Department, Jeffersonville Fire Department, Yellow EMS and Indiana Conservation Officers.

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