OSHKOSH, Wis. – Today a jury found Jason Lindemann, 53, of Oshkosh, guilty of fourteen counts related to his involvement driving a powerboat that struck a paddlewheel cruise boat on the Fox River on July 9, 2022, including two counts of Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety, eleven counts of Fail to Render Aid after a Boating Accident Resulting in Injury, and one count of Negligent Operation of Boat.

“Protecting public safety is Wisconsin DOJ’s top priority, and today’s verdict holds the defendant accountable for his actions that caused injuries and endangered the safety of others,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to those who have investigated, prosecuted, and provided victim services for this case.”

Lindemann was driving his powerboat on the Fox River when it collided with the “On the Loos” paddlewheel cruise boat just before 10:00 p.m. The cruise boat, carrying 44 people, suffered significant damage. Despite pleas from passengers on the damaged boat and nearby witnesses, Lindemann did not stop to provide his information and render aid. After dropping injured passengers from his boat off nearby, Lindemann drove his boat into Lake Winnebago, where he and the boat remained until the next morning. Law enforcement found Lindemann’s boat abandoned at a nearby marina on the morning of July 10, 2022.

Multiple witnesses observed Lindemann consuming alcohol in the hours prior to the crash. Lindemann and his passengers are alleged to have been drinking at the Dockside Tavern immediately before the crash. GPS data from Lindemann’s boat revealed that after leaving the Dockside, the boat traveled under the Oregon Street Bridge and then accelerated rapidly, reaching a top speed of 46 miles per hour at impact.

Multiple passengers from the “On the Loos” boat were injured as a result of the collision.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for August 22, 2024.

The Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office led this investigation, along with assistance from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. AAGs Tara Jenswold and Emily Thompson and Paralegal Jackie Righter of the Criminal Litigation Unit of the Wisconsin DOJ Division of Legal Services handled the prosecution. The Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office provided victim services.

View this press release on the Wisconsin DOJ website here

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