4 injured in New Jersey hit-and-run boating accident

WEST MILFORD, New Jersey (WABC) -- New Jersey State police say a hit-and-run boating accident left four people injured over the holiday weekend, including two men who suffered serious head injuries.

The accident happened on Greenwood Lake in West Milford around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Sergeant Jeff Flynn says an unknown vessel, possibly a ski boat, struck an 18-foot Bayliner boat. The boat's driver, 72-year-old Edwin Lane, and a passenger, 76-year-old Robert Roon, both suffered head injuries and were airlifted to St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in Paterson. They remain in critical condition.

Two women, 74-year-old Mary Lane and 70-year-old Eileen Roon, were treated at a hospital for injuries that were not considered life-threatening.

"I didn't even realize that we were hit by something, because I didn't really see anything out there," Eileen Roon said. "We felt an impact, and the next thing I knew, the cover flew off the motor and came right up to the bow, where I was sitting."

Something sped up from behind so fast and so furious that it knocked a hole in the stern of their boat, but it was dark at the time, so the victims didn't know exactly where the impact came from.

"We went out to dinner last night, and we're leaving, and the first thought that went through my mind was 'I don't mind being on the boat at night because it's a 15 mile per hour speed limit on the lake.'"

But authorities say the boat that hit them was travelling much, much faster than that.

"We called 911, and my friend took over the steering wheel of the boat, and we got it to the marina," she said. "And as we were approaching the marina, we could see all the police cars there before we got there."

Authorities were still searching Tuesday for the other vessel, checking nearby marinas for any boats with extensive damage.

"Speed limits and everything are there for a reason," the victim's son, Kevin Roon, said. "Have your lights on, be alert, and realize you're in charge of a big machine that can do a lot of damage."

The State Police's Marine Unit is investigating the accident.

"I'm angry that somebody is out there, either drunk or careless, and they get away scot free," Eileen Roon said. "And we have to pay for it."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Trooper I Shane Diehl of Carteret Station at 732-541-0491.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
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