11-year-old dies in Big Lake boating accident

Victim was operating personal watercraft when he wake-jumped into path of oncoming boat, LDWF says

An 11-year-old Broussard boy operating a personal watercraft died Saturday afternoon after colliding with a 22-foot boat on Big Lake, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Griffin LeBlanc was killed in the accident. According to witnesses, LeBlanc was operating the personal watercraft with another 11-year-old boy as his passenger near Hebert’s Landing around 4:30 p.m., according to the press release.

LeBlanc and his passenger were jumping another boat’s wake when they jumped into the path of a 22-foot boat, the release states.

After the head-on collision, both boys were ejected, but LeBlanc’s life jacket came off when he hit the water, while his passenger’s PFD remained on, according to the release.

The passenger was immediately retrieved from the water and was transported to Lake Charles Memorial, where he was listed in serious, but not life-threatening condition, the release states.

Search and rescue teams retrieved LeBlanc’s body from the water around 10 p.m. Saturday. Agents suspect he was not wearing a properly-fitted PFD that was in good working condition, according to the release. Alcohol is not suspected to be a factor in the accident.