POINTE COUPEE PARISH – One of the most popular waterways in the capital area was shut off to visitors for the weekend as law enforcement searched for a man who went overboard during a deadly boating accident.
According to the Pointe Coupee Sheriff’s Office, two boats collided in False River around 10 p.m. Friday. Two people were in each boat, and all four were thrown into the water on impact.
“One of them was an aluminum boat… and it seems that the other boat flew right across the top of it,” said Sheriff Rene’ Thibodeaux, describing the wreckage.
Sheriff Thibodeaux told WBRZ the four boaters were on the water for a fishing tournament that ran late into Friday evening.
“If you’ve ever been out here in the dark, looking on the water, it’s very hard to depict distance and ranges,” the sheriff said. “It’s really hard to figure out how far you are from something.”
The driver of one of those boats, Shea Mouton, was found dead shortly after the collision. Two surviving victims were pulled from the water by a good Samaritan and taken to Our Lady of the Lake hospital in Baton Rouge.
“Two people were in the water, and they cried for help. We had some local people in these camps that rescued them,” Thibodeaux said.
Deputies were unable to find the fourth person, identified as Dr. Kenneth St. Romain, for roughly two days. His body was found Sunday morning with the help of sonar equipment.
“We actually received a video late Saturday evening which helped us a little bit more this morning, and one of those guys picked up an image and they thought that this was the image that we were looking for,” Thibodeaux said. “Then a bunch of people got together and just started working in that one area.”
St. Romain ran a prominent dentist’s office based out of Baton Rouge, and the sheriff said his family is well-known in the area.
“He will forever be a cherished and loved husband and father,” his business posted on Facebook Sunday. “He has been an incredible light to so many families.”