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Dave Olson, Published July 09 2012

Hunt still on for suspects in lake hit-and-run that seriously injured West Fargo man

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. – Tips are coming in and the hunt is continuing for suspects in a July 4 boat crash on Big Cormorant Lake that left a West Fargo man seriously injured, Becker County Sheriff Tim Gordon said Monday.

Deputies searched dock-by-dock for the boat that struck another watercraft and then left the scene after it was apparent injuries had occurred, Gordon said.

Terry Erickson, 39, was seriously hurt in the collision and faces extensive rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on Friday, Gordon said. Erickson was reported to have a broken leg and pelvis.

The incident happened about 10:18 p.m. Friday, after Erickson, his wife, Taryn, their two children and a neighbor had just taken a 17-foot Bayliner onto the lake to watch fireworks.

After the collision, the suspect boat took off, even though the people in the Erickson boat were pleading for help.

Gordon said authorities have checked out about a dozen tips, mostly involving boats that had some type of damage. In each case, there was an explanation for the damage and as of Monday there were no suspects, he said.

He said it’s possible the suspects were visiting someone on the lake, and the boat may have left Big Cormorant via private land, not the public access.

“Cormorant is conducive to private landings,” Gordon said, adding that residents of the lake are asked to report anything suspicious they may have seen Wednesday night or Thursday.

“Maybe all of a sudden a boat is not on a lift and maybe a lame excuse why it’s not on the lift,” he said.

He said it’s possible the boat is still in the area, but out of sight.

“They may have it in a storage building if they rent,” said Gordon, adding that because the incident took place at dusk a description has been difficult to pin down.

He said the boat may be cream or white in color with a red or maroon stripe.

Given the amount of damage it caused, Gordon said authorities are looking for “a substantial boat with a substantial amount of horsepower behind it.”

The phone number for the Becker County Sheriff’s Department is (218) 847-2661.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555


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