Victim of Louisiana boat tragedy climbed aboard barge and bled to death

By Calvin Palmer

One of the men from Texas killed when a boat hit a moored barge on the Falgout Canal in Louisiana managed to climb on to the barge, the senior investigator with Terrebonne Parish Coroner’s Office said yesterday.

William Noriss Voss, 49, of Katy, climbed on to the barge then passed out and bled to death.

Voss was one of three men from Texas and two from Louisiana aboard the 24-foot aluminum boat Wednesday night when it slammed into a barge moored at the bank of a canal between Theriot and Dulac.

The other Texas victims were: Rene Joseph Gauthier, 59, of Houston, an oil field salesman, and Lawrence Henry Flak, 54, of Conroe, a drilling engineer. The two killed from Louisiana were: Michael James Carrere, 44, of Houma and Carey J. Meche, 52, of Metairie, an oil field salesman.

Gary Alford of the coroner’s office said that preliminary results from the autopsies indicate all five died of head trauma.

He said blood was taken for testing, and all of the bodies were released to families.

How fast the boat was going is unknown, said Marianne Burke, spokeswoman for the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. She said a bank stabilization crew discovered the wreck Thursday morning and found the body on the barge they were using as a work platform.

Carrere, a co-owner of Tarpon Rentals in Houma, owned the boat but it is unknown whether he was driving the boat when it crashed, said Tony Fazzio, a friend.

The five men had planned to take part in the Houma Oilman’s Invitational Fishing Tournament, which started yesterday.

Fazzio said they were returning from a crawfish boil in Dulac to a fishing camp on Bayou Dularge.

[Based on a report by the Houston Chronicle.]

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5 responses to “Victim of Louisiana boat tragedy climbed aboard barge and bled to death

  1. What a tragedy, my condolences to the family and friends.

  2. phyllis

    I will pray for God to help you through this tragic time, although you’ve had alot of it in your lifetime. Mr. Flax was your soulmate, i’m so sorry for your loss.Will pray for you ,always. Really enjoyed playing pogo bingo with you Friday night. Hope you had an enjoyable 4th of July. Hope to see you on again -we will blackout –every time! ha.ha. Hairdos6 (Phyllis)

  3. Cole Rene Gauthier

    My father was one of the 5 men killed in this accident. His name was Rene Joseph Gauthier, an extremely smart man and more of a father than i deserved. Its hard, especially in tough times like right now, when you need a father to talk to, ask advice from and calm you down and explain how everything will be ok, but i dont have that anymore. I miss and need him SO MUCH. I just wish I wouldnt have taken him for granit and that I would have acted more like a son instead of a brat.

    • anna

      Hey Cole,
      My Uncle was also one of the men killed on this accident. And yes I miss him so much also, but understand this…you will one day see him again. When you need him jsut go to your room and close your eyes and talk to him..he is there…he is in your heart, your memory, and in you. His memory will remain as long as you let it.

      • Michelle Sewell

        Hey Cole, Just know that he loved you more than life! He was So proud of your schooling! Yes… I loved him immensely and always will.

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