FOLSOM LAKE, CA - The passenger of a speedboat died and the driver was transported to the hospital after his boat flipped over in a violent crash on the lake Friday evening, an El Dorado County sheriff's spokesman said.
Authorities responded to the lake around 6 p.m. Friday after a 911 call told officials of a boat crashing near Hobie Cove, El Dorado County sheriff's Sgt. Jim Byers said. A pair of sheriff's boat units were preparing for night operations and were on the scene almost immediately, Byers said.
Byers said fellow boaters and jet skiers pulled the driver, 40-year-old Frank Volrath, from the water, but the boat's passenger, 42-year-old Anthony Vargas, never surfaced. Volrath was transported to the hospital, but was expected to survive.
Byers said witnesses reported the boat was traveling at a very high rate of speed at the time of the crash. "He's a very lucky man to have survived this," Byers said.
After 45 minutes of searching, members of the El Dorado Underwater Recovery Team found the boat and the Vargas' body under about 40 feet of water. Byers said Vargas suffered severe trauma from the crash.
Folsom Lake State Parks Police was investigating the cause of the accident, although Byers said alcohol did not appear to play a factor in the crash.
Byers said the boat was leaking fuel and teams would be forced to wait until early Saturday to remove the craft from the water.