TWRA: boy struck by boat propeller, seriously injured on Douglas Lake

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DANDRIDGE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A four-year-old was seriously injured Sunday afternoon after getting struck by a boat propeller on Douglas Lake near Dandridge, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

TWRA said a father was swimming with three children, all under eight-years-old, when the wind separated them from their rented pontoon boat.

TWRA officers said a woman on-board the pontoon started up the engine to go pick the group back up. When she got close, TWRA said the 4-year-old was hit by the propeller in his upper left arm and shoulder.

The boy was taken by helicopter to the University of Tennessee Medical Center with serious injuries around 3 p.m. Sunday.

The father was identified as Bill Wardlow, 44, of Sevierville. TWRA said the driver of the boat was 28-year-old Starsha Tuley of Knoxville.

The accident is still under investigation by TWRA.