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Fatal Lake Fork boating accident witness: 'None of them have affected me like this one'

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WOOD COUNTY, TX (KLTV) -

A boating accident Monday evening in Wood County has left two dead and a child critically injured.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden Quint Balkcom said the accident occurred after legal sunset, around 8:45 p.m.

"There is no restriction as to when a boat can be out on the waters of Texas or coastal waters," Balkcom said. "The only restriction is that at sunset, you have to place appropriate coast guard lighting."

One of the boats involved in the accident was still in the water on Tuesday and will be raised with specialized lift bags and then towed to shore. An adult male occupied one of the boats, while an adult male and 12-year-old child occupied the other.

Both boat operators were killed and the child was transported to Dallas Children's Hospital and is in critical condition.

Randy Oldfield is a guide on Lake Fork and was with a customer when a friend called him to come help.

"There was debris scattered all over the top of the water," Oldfield said. "Pieces of the boat, fiberglass, packages, just exactly of what you think about with a horrific impact."

According to the Wood County Sheriff's Department, two boats collided in the Coffee Creek area of Lake Fork near the County Road 515 East Bridge.

For Oldfield, it is one of the worst he has seen in his 20 years as a guide on the lake.

"I've seen some boating accidents and some bad ones, but none of them have affected me like seeing this one," he said. "Seeing the kid really affected me."

One of the boats was towed to shore by Oldfield, who said all he was thinking about was saving the child's life.

"He was unconscious, but moaning," Oldfield said. "That's why it was so imperative that we get that boat with him in it to the bank for medical attention."

Even in the tragedy, Oldfield said he found some light.

"It looked like to me he had double-crossed his son to try and protect him," he said. "He had come out the driver's seat, with his kill switch and life jacket on."

Oldfield said that two of the three victims were wearing their life jackets at the time of the crash.

The names of the victims have not yet been released.

Game wardens said they are working with the Wood County Sheriff's Department to piece together witness testimony with the physical evidence to determine exactly what caused the collision.

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