Police Recover Two Bodies After Ohio River Barge Tow Collision

File image courtesy Marquette Transportation

Published Apr 25, 2021 10:59 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] Local police have recovered the bodies of two people who went missing after a collision between a motorboat and a barge tow on the Ohio River near Louisville, Kentucky on April 17. 

The victims, a man and a woman, were found separately over the weekend. The woman's body was found in the Ohio River near its junction with the Salt River on Saturday afternoon. The man's body was found by a volunteer search party on Sunday morning at a position about 10 miles downriver from the site of the collision. Police divers conducted the retrieval. 

One additional person, identified as Hayden Spencer, 20, died of injuries sustained in the collision. 

The boat collided with the barge tow at about 2000 hours on April 17, shortly after a large fireworks show in Louisville. Seven people were on board the boat, and the crew of the towboat rescued five survivors from the water, according to operator Marquette Transportation Company. The rescuees included Spencer, who died after arrival at the hospital. 

The boat has been recovered, and Louisville Metro Police is leading an investigation into the cause of the casualty. 

"Our hearts and prayers go out to the individuals and families impacted by this tragic event," the operator said in a statement. "Marquette is cooperating fully with all governmental agencies that are investigating this incident."