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.]