KENNEWICK, Wash - Twice in two years.
That's what happened to the G-17 boat. Last year on the Columbia River, it was Rick Bridgeman in the cockpit when the boat flipped. He had to be taken to the hospital then.
This year, it was Dustin Echols in the driver's seat when the G-17 blew over. It appears the throttle got stuck in a wide open position. Witnesses on the shoreline say they cold hear the engine racing wide open even while the boat was in the air.
Rescue crews had to come get Echols out of the boat. He's been reported as alert and communicative. His knee got banged up and he went to the hospital, but he was back in the pits within the hour.
"I'm doing pretty well considering," Echols said. "A little sore."
Going into turn one, Echols said the sponson lifted up and he couldn't quite get it back down. "I flipped at least once," he said. "Felt like I was up there a long time." Echols managed to unhook himself and the cockpit opped open. Good thing because his air mask was leaking at that time.
"I could see water and then sun in front of me. Then, I just held on."
.NOTE: We have two angles on the flip from this year and will have those posted later today.