Man charged after fully submerging jeep and trailer into Onondaga Lake


(Department of Environmental Conservation)

ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — A driver was charged with several violations of Environmental Conservation Law and State regulations after unsuccessfully backing his boat into Onondaga Lake on two separate occasions.

According to a press release from the Department of Environmental Conservation, a man attempted to back his Jeep and boat trailer, with boat attached, into Onondaga Lake on August 9. They reported that the car and trailer missed the DEC boat launch by 50 feet and became stuck in mud along the shoreline.

The unsuccessful attempt cost the man $800 after a call to a tow truck company to remove the Jeep and trailer. However, the man drove away unscathed without reporting the incident to DEC’s Division of Law Enforcement.

Three days later, on August 12, the same man was able to successfully navigate the ramp at the same boat launch however he failed to apply the brakes. As a result his trailer and Jeep were fully submerged in Onondaga Lake. According to the press release, the allegedly intoxicated man was able to escape through the window of the vehicle and make it to shore.

The man was forced to face legal action after a witness called 911 after seeing what had happened. ECO Damrath, Geddes Police and Onondaga County Parks Police responded to the boat launch immediately. 

After arriving at the scene ECO Damrath discovered that there was a sheen of gasoline and garbage leaking from the man’s vehicle and contacted Region 7 Spill Response experts. NRC Environmental Services responded to contain the fuel spill.

After collecting witness statements, ECO Damrath charged the driver with several violations of Environmental Conservation Law and State regulations. Geddes Police is leading the DWI investigation.  

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