A bridge worker who a sheriff’s lieutenant says is from the Rolla area was hospitalized Wednesday after the boat he was operating was struck by a barge on the Missouri River near St. Charles.
The 51-year-old man's name had not been released and his condition was unknown as of press time.
Lt. David Tiefenbrunn, of the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department, said sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the river around 9:30 a.m. for a report of a johnboat that had collided with a barge and towboat.
Tiefenbrunn said the man, who works for St. Louis Bridge Construction Co., was traveling across the river in the johnboat.
The company was performing work on piers of a train trestle that crosses the river next to the Lewis Bridge, which carries U.S. Highway 67, he said.
The lieutenant said the worker neither saw nor heard the towboat. He said the towboat operator repeatedly alerted the johnboat operator with its horn.
After the collision, the johnboat capsized and went under the barge with the man inside an enclosed area, Tiefenbrunn said.
Rescue workers in a boat were able to retrieve the man and bring him to shore to begin CPR until EMS personnel arrived.
According to Tiefenbrunn, the worker had a slight pulse before being transported to an area hospital.
The man was wearing a life jacket, the lieutenant said.
The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the crash.