Investigation continues into boating crash that killed boy
Police interviewing witnesses to crash on Petite Lake
Investigators spent Monday still trying to determine the cause of a boating accident on Petite Lake near Lake Villa over the weekend that took the life of a 10-year-old Libertyville boy, authorities said.
Tony Borcia, 10, of Libertyville was killed about 4:40 p.m. Saturday after he fell off an inner tube he was riding on and was run over by another boat, said Sgt. Brett Scroggins of the Illinois Conservation Police.
Borcia was pronounced dead at the scene, Scroggins said. Two other people were treated after the accident for nonlife-threatening issues not directly related to the collision.
The tube was being pulled behind a pontoon boat that the boy's father had rented earlier in the day, Scroggins said, adding that conservation police are still trying to determine how much boating experience each of the drivers involved had.
"We are still interviewing witnesses and gathering facts about the crash," he said. "It will be about a week or two before we have all our information and can make a clear assessment of what happened."
Neither of the boats' drivers was charged or cited immediately after the accident, but both submitted blood samples for testing to determine if alcohol could have played a role. Those results should be ready by the end of the week or early next week, Scroggins said.
Investigators also are trying to pinpoint the exact location of the accident to give some clues as to why the crash happened.
"We are still working on exact map placement of the boats," he said. "It's not illegal to pull a kid on a tube in that location, but that area can get busy with boaters on a Saturday."
Petite Lake is one of the smaller lakes on the Chain O' Lakes and is best known for its large sandbar on its southeast side.
The sandbar is a popular hangout for boaters who during the day anchor and congregate on the sandy bottom. However, Scroggins said the boaters involved in Saturday's crash indicated they were not heading to or from the Petite Lake sandbar.
The opposite side of Petite Lake is used primarily as a main navigable waterway channel by boaters trying to get to and from a pair of larger Chain waterways, Lake Marie and Fox Lake. Boats in that channel normally are free to go full speed and head through that channel at a fairly decent clip, Scroggins said.
He declined to say whether tubing in that area is safe but acknowledged traffic can get busy on Petite Lake between boaters coming and going.
"I compare it to driving in rush-hour traffic on the interstate: People who are comfortable driving on the interstate at rush hour would have no problem with the Chain," he said. "So, I would not characterize the Chain as unsafe, but I could see where some people might be uncomfortable out there."
Ed Lescher, battalion chief of the Fox Lake Fire Protection District and an avid boater, said people should use caution when tubing or water skiing on certain areas on the Chain O' Lakes, especially on weekends when traffic is the heaviest.
"The Chain O' Lakes is safe for boaters, but for water activities like tubing, it's best to head into the bays and other areas where boat traffic is minimal," he said. "There are a lot of safe areas around the Chain that people can go to when they want to tube or water ski."