TPWD News Release — Dec. 15, 2008
Update: Follow-up news release issued Dec. 18, 2008.
CORSICANA, Texas — Texas game wardens continue to search Richland Chambers Lake today for the victim of a boating accident that occurred early Sunday morning.
The boat was returning from a restaurant to a private residence on the lake when it struck a submerged object near the U.S. Highway 287 bridge and sank. Nine passengers made it safely to shore, but the individual said to be the boat operator did not.
Missing is Charles Andrew (Chase) Bergfeld, 23, of Conroe. Bergfeld is a student at Texas A&M University.
Game wardens have been joined in the search by members of the Corsicana Volunteer Fire Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and, currently on-site, the Lewisville Fire Department Dive Team.
The search has been made more difficult due to adverse weather conditions, including strong wind, sleet and rain.
The American Red Cross is supporting recovery efforts from shore.
"We’ll be here every day until we recover the victim," said Game Warden Capt. Gary Dugan.
Investigators say that alcohol may have been a factor in the accident, though it is too early to know to what extent.
As of Nov. 30, there had been 253 boating accidents in Texas for the year, resulting in 52 fatalities and 158 injuries. Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in 15 of the fatalities.
The investigation into the accident is ongoing. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department will update news media as soon as the victim is recovered.