U-R update

A Lizella man has been arrested on charges related to a fatal boating accident that happened on Lake Sinclair in Baldwin County last October.

The accident claimed the life of a Putnam County man who was out fishing on the lake with a friend while celebrating his 80th birthday.

Charges were recently filed against Richard Reed, 64, by game wardens with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division stemming from the death of George Ralph Harper, of the 700 block of Madison Road, Eatonton.

Reed was charged with one count of second degree homicide by a vessel and one count of operating a vessel within 100 feet of an object, according to jail records. Both charges are misdemeanors.

Reed since has been released from jail after posting bond.

Harper, the father of retired Putnam County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Sgt. John Harper was fishing along with his friend, Sonny Poole, also of Eatonton, when their 16-foot boat was hit by an 18-foot Pheonix bass boat operated by Reed, according to a DNR Game Warden Sgt. Bubba Stanford.

Harper was thrown out of the boat and into the water.

Baldwin County Fire Rescue Capt. Bradley Towe and Firefighter Blane Coley, along with Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office Brandon Clements, arrived on the scene a short time later and pulled Harper from the water. They performed CPR and Harper was taken by ambulance to Atrium Health Navicent Baldwin hospital in Milledgeville where he later died from blunt force trauma, according to Baldwin County Deputy Coroner Ken Garland.

Poole, and Reed, meanwhile, were not injured.

The boat collision was investigated by DNR game wardens who responded to the initial call, as well as the DNR’s Law Enforcement Critical Incident Reconstruction Team (CIRT), according to DNR Public Affairs Officer Mark McKinnon.

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