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Trial begins for Oshkosh man accused of Fox River boat crash

Jason Lindemann 8-22-23
Posted at 5:31 PM, Jun 10, 2024

OSHKOSH, Wis. — Monday was the first day of the trial of a man accused of crashing his power boat into a paddle wheel boat on the Fox River in Oshkosh, and then leaving the scene.

  • A power boat crashed into a paddle wheel boat, with dozens of people on board, in the Fox River in Oshkosh in July 2022
  • Jason Lindemann, the suspect, has charges against him including second-degree recklessly endangering safety; he has pleaded not guilty to all charges
  • Watch the video to hear some of what was said in court

(The following is a transcription, in part, of the full broadcast story.)

The paddle wheel boat “On the Loos” was out for a cruise on the Fox River in Oshkosh, back in July 2022.

Authorities say dozens were on board.

A video played in court shows a power boat crashing into the paddle wheel boat.

A prosecutor described how the paddle wheel boat captain detailed the crash.

"Then [the power boat] curved and it looked like it was headed straight for them. It came faster, and faster, and faster, until finally… all [the paddle wheel boat captain] could do was crank the wheel to the right to try to get out of the way, but the power boat hit them anyway," said Assistant Attorney General Emily Thompson. The Wisconsin Department of Justice is prosecuting the case.

The defense said what happened was an accident, and the paddle wheel boat had lights on that were only supposed to be used during docking, and the lights made it hard to see the boat against the shoreline.

"One investigator previously testified: The white lights, you can’t see where "The Loos" begins or ends, where the shoreline starts or stops," said Scott Ceman, Lindemann's defense attorney.

Prosecutors showed pictures as evidence of the damage to the paddle wheel boat and said one person was taken to the hospital in an ambulance and others went to the hospital later on.

Some of the charges against Lindemann accuse him of not stopping to help or give his information after the crash.

The defense said the power boat did pull up to the paddle wheel boat along shore after the crash, and showed video.

The defense said someone was swearing at people in the power boat and somebody threw things at the powerboat, so the powerboat continued on down the river.

Testimony continues on Tuesday. The trial is expected to last two weeks.