Search for missing boater ongoing after deadly crash on False River

POINTE COUPEE PARISH – One of the most popular waterways in the capital area was shut off to visitors all day Saturday 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 launched 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.

The fourth person, identified as Dr. Kenneth St. Romain, was still missing in False River as of Saturday night. St. Romain runs a prominent dentist’s office based out of Baton Rouge, and the sheriff said his family is well-known in the area.

“We’ve got cadaver dogs, some sonars, and plenty of help and volunteers. So we’re praying we can have a speedy recovery.”

The lake was first shut down late Friday as deputies and wildlife agents searched the water. The sheriff said he expects False River to remain closed until they find St. Romain.

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