No charges after Silverton teen injured in fatal Newberg boat collision

July 2022 Posted in News

By Stephen Floyd

Deputies have found no criminal wrongdoing in their investigation of a fatal Newberg boat collision that injured a Silverton teen, with the case now under district attorney review.

On July 25, Sgt. Sam Elliott, with the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed the investigation has concluded with no arrests or referral for charges, though the Yamhill County District Attorney’s Office will make the ultimate determination of whether or not charges should be filed.

“There is no finding of criminal wrongdoing,” said Elliott. “There is a violation involved of not having the required Towed Watersports Endorsement, however, if we had observed this we would have issued a warning since this is the first year of the updated requirements.”

The collision occurred July 11 on the Willamette River near Rogers Landing County Park when an inner tube occupied by a 20-year-old Brooks man and a 17-year-old Silverton boy collided with the boat towing the inner tube. The Brooks man died from his injuries July 14 and the teen was discharged from the hospital the same day, though he has since returned for a series of surgeries, said Elliott.

He added the teen is not being identified because of his status as a minor, neither is the man at the request of the family.

The driver of the boat, identified as a 17-year-old Brooks boy, was cited for not possessing a Towed Water Sports Endorsement, which is newly-required for boating recreationalists. Elliott said the citation carries the weight of a low-level traffic ticket.

Elliott added two passengers were in the boat at the time of the collision, including a second juvenile from Silverton.

Since the collision, the Silver Falls School District has offered support for students and families who may be struggling to respond to the accident. On July 15, the district issued a statement with resources for parents to help students discuss grief and how to cope with sudden loss, including articles by websites such as and

“Our hearts go out to those impacted by this tragedy,” said the district release. “If your child needs further assistance,” it continued, “please don’t hesitate to reach out to the District Office, and we will be happy to assist you in identifying further resources as needed.”

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