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Drugs & alcohol likely cause in Millerton boating accident

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

A day on the lake ended in a lost limb for a Valley teen. Rangers have made an arrest in the accident that changed a young life.

It took a bird's-eye-view from above to find the boat Millerton Lake park rangers were desperately looking for after a major accident.

"Traumatic injury to his leg. Very traumatic," Ranger Mark De Leon said. "Literally one of the worst accident's I've seen since i've been out here."

Ranger Mark De Leon says no one on the boat called for help when 18 year old Valerio Torres, 18, was critically hurt. Deleon says Torres was in the water when somehow his leg got caught in the propeller as it drove past him. The rate of speed is still being determined.

"Based upon drugs being found on the boat, alcohol being found on the boat, we believe there was probably some misjudgment on the part of the operator," Ranger Mark De Leon said. "Earlier in the day, we had had some complaints from passerbys."

Investigators say the passengers on the boat during the accident are not telling Rangers who was operating the boat when Torres was struck. Torres was also a passenger on the same boat before he jumped in the water. The force of the accident disabled the boat, and left the 24 foot pontoon boat adrift.

Ranger Mark De Leon told Action News, "After the accident took place, the drive line was disengaged from that prop and the boat was rendered basically useless at the time."

Other boaters who heard the victim screaming in pain pulled him onto their boat and rushed him to the nearest dock where he was airlifted to Community Regional Medical Center.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against the suspect, Jordan Moreno. Even though it's possible he was not driving during the crash, he was the person who rented the boat and was responsible for the safety and well-being of passengers.

The victim has been interviewed by investigators. They say while he does remember some details of the crash, his severe injuries knocked him in and out of consciousness during the accident so he does not remember a whole lot.

(Copyright ©2014 KFSN-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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millerton lake, fresno county, accident, local, sontaya rose
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