JC man charged in boating deaths

A Jefferson City man has been charged in connection with a fatal boat accident on the Osage River in September.

According to court documents filed Thursday in Osage County, Christopher Winkler, 33, 4023 Oxford Road, was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter and three counts of second-degree assault.

According to a probable cause statement from the Missouri Highway Patrol’s Water Division, Winkler operated a boat at 11:50 p.m. Sept. 3 on the Osage near Bonnots Mill. He struck two anchored boats, which had all of the required navigational lights on before the crash.

As a result of the accident, Alvin T. Blackford, 46, Russellville, and Curtis Libbert, 33, Tebbetts, died from their injuries.

Three other passengers on Blackford’s boat were injured: Mindy S. Campbell, 28, Ashland, suffered moderate injuries, while Robert E. Schoebinger, 26, Linn, and Sean J. Veit, 39, Lohman, suffered serious injuries.

The probable cause statement said Winkler was sluggish and moving slowly when questioned by officers at the crash scene.

His eyes were bloodshot, and he had a strong smell of intoxicants about him.

When asked what happened, Winkler said he had taken off from his cabin on the river and was going upstream when he turned around and headed back downstream.

“I hit them,” he told an officer.

When asked how much he had to drink that night, Winkler asked for a lawyer.

Winkler later was arrested for boating while intoxicated.

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