Haysville man facing felony charges for Winfield City Lake boating accident that put girl in coma

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Felony charges have been filed against a Haysville man who was allegedly drunk while a boat he was operating crashed into another and seriously injured a 10-year-old girl on Winfield City Lake over the Memorial Day Weekend.

The charges against Jacob Williams — 13 in total — were filed Tuesday by Cowley County Attorney Larry Schwartz in Cowley County District Court in Winfield.

A first appearance for Williams has been set for Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. in Winfield via Zoom.

Williams, 34, faces two counts of reckless aggravated battery — a level 5 felony — and five counts of aggravated endangering of a child, a level 9 felony. Other counts include three misdemeanor battery charges and a misdemeanor boating under the influence.

Lt. Greg Venable of the Winfield Police Department poses with Rielynn Martin on June 13 while she holds a WPD challenge coin during her recovery from a Memorial Day Weekend boating accident. (Photo courtesy Rally for Rielynn Facebook page/WPD)

Both level 5 felonies carry a minimum of 36 months in prison and a maximum of 136 months each, while the five aggravated endangering of a child charges carry minimum sentences of five months in prison with maximums of 17 months each.

Williams was arrested on a charge of boating under the influence on May 26 following an accident that sent then-10-year-old Rielynn Martin, also of Haysville, to a Wichita hospital in critical condition.

Martin was put into a medically-induced coma for nearly a week and underwent emergency brain surgeries, fought pneumonia and a staph infection, according to a Facebook page by the family with updates on her progress.

She woke up on June 1.

Martin was injured when two boats collided at the lake just before 5 p.m. that Friday of the Memorial Day Weekend.

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Kansas Game Warden Clint Lee, who was on scene that day at the lake, said days after the incident five people were injured in the accident — an adult male, a juvenile male, two other juvenile females — one of which was transported to the hospital with minor injuries — and Martin.

Lee said one boat was registered to Sedgwick County and the other to Sumner County, with three people on one and eight on the other.

As far as who was on which boat, that information is still pending and under investigation, Lee said. All passengers were from outside Cowley County.

Lee added one boat was traveling not more than idle speed, while the other was traveling faster — but not believed to be at an excessive speed.

“The biggest concern was negligent operations,” Lee told Cowley Post in May.

Schwartz said Martin was on the boat operated by Williams and on it with permission.

Williams is known to the Martin family, Schwartz added.

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