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Fox River Boat Crash Trial: Paddle wheel boat captain testifies

Posted at 7:14 PM, Jun 12, 2024

OSHKOSH (NBC26) — Wednesday was day three of the trial of Jason Lindemann, who is accused of crashing a power boat into a paddle wheel boat on the Fox River in Oshkosh in July 2022.  Lindemann's lawyer said the crash was an accident.

  • The captain of the paddle wheel boat testified in court Wednesday
  • Exterior lights on the paddle wheel boat at the time of the crash were questioned
  • Watch the video to see some of the video clips that were shown in court

Jeff Loos, the captain of the paddle wheel boat the night of the crash, testified Wednesday.  

Loos described what he saw just before the crash.

"[The power boat] criss-crossed in front of me, then he started coming right for me," Loos said.

What the captain of "On the Loos" saw, paddle wheel boat passenger Derrick Thacker heard.

"I heard the exhaust and acceleration of the boat, I immediately grabbed [my] wife," Thacker said.

"And then there was a handicapped child that was very, very close to us, and tried to brace myself, and kind of screamed out, ‘Brace yourself!'" Thacker said.

He said he and his wife weren’t hurt in the crash.

But prosecutors say others were, one going in an ambulance to the hospital, and others going later to a hospital.

Exterior lights on "On the Loos"

One of the questions for Jeff Loos, who co-owns "On the Loos," was about the lights that were turned on along the side of his boat at the time of the crash.

The defense had previously brought up the lights.

"One investigator previously testified,'The white lights, you can’t where "[On] the Loos" begins or ends,'" said Lindemann's defense attorney Scott Ceman earlier in the trial. Ceman said the lights were supposed to be used only during docking.

Loos said he had a U.S. Coast Guard inspection of the boat the day before the crash.

A prosecutor asked Wednesday whether Loos was notified during that or any previous inspection that it was a violation to have the lights illuminated.

"No," Loos replied, saying no one had ever notified him the lights were a violation.

The charges against Lindemann in this case include two felony counts of recklessly endangering safety.

He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him.