BASS LAKE – The Madera County Sheriff’s Office has released more details of a fatal boating accident on Bass Lake yesterday.
On Monday, Sept. 3, just after 3 p.m., the Madera County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service regarding the accident.
According to witness statements, a privately owned ski boat was pulling two individuals on an inflatable tube. While the ski boat was stopped, a pontoon boat struck both tube passengers.
The 32-year-old male, Brandon Harris, was transported to local regional hospital by ground ambulance, while the 7-year-old female victim was airlifted to a local regional hospital. Lily Harris, just shy of her 8th birthday according to family members, was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.
The father and daughter are both residents of Fresno, but maintain a residence in the Bass Lake area. The operator of the pontoon boat is a resident of San Mateo and also maintains a residence in the Bass Lake area.
The accident and circumstances of the collision remain under investigation. The pontoon boat was rented from a local marina.
With the valid rental contract on file, the operator of the rental vessel, pursuant to California law, is exempt from the California Boater Card requirement.
The investigation remains ongoing to determine whether any safety factors may have contributed to the collision. At this time, it is not believed that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the incident.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account for anyone who wishes to contribute to funeral expenses for Lily.
Any criminal charges will be based on the outcome of the investigation. No one is in custody at this time. The Sheriff’s Office says that all involved parties are fully cooperating with the investigation.
If anyone has information relating to this case, please contact the Madera County Sheriff’s Office at (559) 675-7770.