Texas man arrested after fatal tubing accident in Calcasieu Parish

Driver tested over the legal limit for alcohol, LDWF says

Enforcement agents with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries arrested a Texas man Sunday who was allegedly driving a boat when an 8-year-old boy died in a tubing accident on the Old Sabine River near Niblett’s Bluff Park in Calcasieu Parish.

According to survivors, Eddie L. Dunwoody, 35, of Vidor, Texas, was operating a 19-foot bass boat with a 150 hp motor with four other passengers while towing the tube with three juvenile boys aboard around 5 p.m., according to a press release.

Dunwoody made a turn and the tube swung out and hit the bank, ejecting all three kids. The accident claimed the life of Damian Haines, 8, also of Vidor, the release states.

LDWF agents on scene determined Dunwoody was impaired, and he tested over the legal limit for alcohol, the release states. The accident occurred in a no wake zone, according to the release.

Dunwoody was arrested for operating a vessel while intoxicated with child endangerment, vehicular homicide, vehicular negligent injury, reckless operation of a watercraft and violating a no wake zone. He was booked into the Calcasieu Parish Prison, the release states.

Vehicular homicide brings a $2,000 to $15,000 fine and five to 30 years in prison.  Vehicular negligent injury carries up to a $1,000 fine and six months in jail.  DWI with child endangerment carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail with 10 days being mandatory for the first offense.  Reckless operation of a vessel carries up to a $200 fine and 90 days in jail.  Violating the no wake zone penalties are set by each parish.

One other child on the tube was taken by ambulance to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont with non-life threatening injuries, and the other youth received minor injuries and didn’t need further treatment, according to the release.