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Four injured in Cass County boating accident

Posted at 11:50 AM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 07:49:58-04

A boating incident at a Cass County lake could have been even worse had neighbors not responded quickly with medical treatment.

The Cass County Sheriff Office says a boating tube crashed into a rock barrier late Saturday afternoon at Lake Waconda, injuring four teen girls, one of which required a medical helicopter.

Thankfully many of the lake residents had medical backgrounds and were able to come to the rescue quickly.

"That was a huge help. Everybody here were just pitching helping out and doing a great job. Trying to comfort the patients, trying to keep them alert, talking to them, keep them comfortable,” says Jim Noerrlinger, caretaker & Union volunteer firefighter.

Shawn Meade, who is trained in first-aid, was working in the yard when he heard screaming across the lake and sprung into action.

"They were very uncomfortable and on the rocks and they just wanted off, they were screaming and crying it was horrible,” says Shawn Meade, first responder.

The tight-knit lake community, located around 30 miles south of Omaha, burst into action as more residents with medical backgrounds helped until first responders arrived.

"The fact that we were able to keep them there, one had a broken femur and you could tell she had lacerations to the bone so it could have been really bad if we moved her,” says Meade.

Other lake residents say a stronger police presence could prevent a similar incident from happening again. 

"I’d say 90 percent of them are safe drivers but just over the last couple of years, I've noticed a couple that maybe could curb back a little bit," says Don, a frequent visitor to the lake community. 

The four injured girls are still on the minds of many at Lake Waconda.

"I'd really like to know more if they're okay, I'm sure everybody that was there that day wants to know themselves,” says Meade.

This accident is now under investigation by the Nebraska Game and Parks and so far they have not released any of the victims names. 

Steven Koller, 47, of Omaha was cited for negligent driving.