Workers remove boat for inquiry in Iowa water ride accident

Brothers David, from left, Gus and Michael Jaramillo of Marion, Iowa are shown in this undated family photo released by the family’s attorney Ryan Best. An accident on a popular boat ride at Adventureland Park in Altoona, Iowa on Saturday, July 3, 2021 killed 11-year-old Michael, left his brother David in critical condition, while Gus suffered minor injuries. (Family photo/attorney Ryan Best via AP)

IOWA CITY — Workers used a crane Tuesday to remove a boat from an Iowa amusement park ride as part of the investigation into an accident that killed one boy and critically injured his brother.

The boat, which weighs over 1,700 pounds, was removed from the manmade channel on the Raging River ride so that inspectors and engineers could have a closer examination, Adventureland Park attorney Guy Cook said.

The boat was placed on a trailer and taken to a secure location, as the investigation into the “tragic and extremely unusual accident continues,” he said.

The boat was carrying six members of a Marion, Iowa, family at the park in Altoona when it unexpectedly overturned on the evening of July 3, trapping two brothers under the water for minutes. Michael Jaramillo, 11, died of his injuries the next day, while 16-year-old David Jaramillo remains hospitalized in critical condition.

David Jaramillo is still heavily sedated and hooked up to oxygen, unable to talk or see for the moment, said family attorney Ryan Best.

His father, also David Jaramillo, was undergoing surgery Tuesday on bones he broke in his shoulder when the boat overturned, before he was able to free himself, Best said.

Michael Jaramillo’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday at a Des Moines church.

A spokeswoman for the Iowa Division of Labor, which is overseeing the investigation, said Tuesday that there is no timeline for the inquiry’s completion.

Adventureland voluntarily halted the ride, and Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts has ordered it not to restart pending the conclusion of the probe and correction of hazards. A regulator who inspected the ride the day before the accident noted no problems.

Best said the family’s legal team planned to request access to the boat Tuesday to conduct its own inspection.


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