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Two people injured in jet ski crash at Cooney State Park

Two people injured in jet ski crash at Cooney State Park
Posted at 4:03 PM, Jul 02, 2024

A jet ski crash at Cooney State Park left two Billings residents injured on Saturday, June 29, 2024.

One jet ski was struck by another jet ski, which the Carbon County Sheriff's Office said Monday came from the same group.

The crash injured a 10-year-old girl and a man in his 60s, who were riding on the same jet ski together.

The man was flown from the scene and has been in a medically-induced coma since.

The jet ski that hit them was being driven by a man also in his 60s. Authorities said that all three involved were from the same group.

For campers on the shore, the sheer amount of emergency response units that arrived — within a matter of moments — was a shock.

"I was just hoping someone hadn't lost their life," said Bozeman resident Tim Prelle. "That's what I was worried about."

Prelle was setting up his campground on the shores when the crash happened, and while he didn't see the collision, he was invested in the rescue operation.

"We all watched from here," Prelle said. "When a helicopter comes in, that's interesting enough anyways. What we had heard is that somebody had gotten in a bad crash together and bad enough that they brought in Life Flight."

Prelle said the units worked incredibly quickly and that he was impressed with the response time. On Monday, he was still concerned about the well-being of the man involved in the crash.

"All you can do is hope that the guy is okay," Prelle said.

Law enforcement said that alcohol was not involved in the crash and that the investigation is still underway.

Prelle said it's a scary reminder of why it is important to be extra cautious on the water, especially with the July 4th weekend coming up.

"Everybody needs to watch out for everybody," Prelle said. "Water safety is the most important."

Cooney State Park is about 50 miles southwest of Billings.

cooney state park map