published Saturday, June 30th, 2012

Wildlife officials seek hit-and-run boaters

State wildlife authorities are looking for two men who were riding a personal watercraft that was involved in a hit-and-run incident Wednesday afternoon in the Mud Creek area of the Tennessee River near Dayton's Mark Anton Airport.

The watercraft, being ridden by a black man and a white man, passed through a swimming area where they hit a woman with the craft and fled, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency spokesman Dan Hicks said Friday.

The accident happened between 3 and 4 p.m., Hicks said.

"We're not releasing her name or her condition right now," he said. Hicks said the woman's injuries were not life-threatening.

Resources agency officials are looking for the men, who were riding a watercraft described as white with red and possibly silver stripes, Hicks said.

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, 12th Judicial District Attorney Mike Taylor said charges could range "from a class C misdemeanor up to felony reckless endangerment."

Taylor said state officials will have to present the details of their investigation before formal charges can be determined.

But the resources agency needs to identify the boaters first, Hicks said.

Anyone with information about Wednesday's accident is asked to contact the TWRA at 1-800-262-6704 or 931-484-9671 if the caller is outside Tennessee.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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