Timothy Clippard of Missouri Killed on Kentucky Lake in Boat Accident

Timothy Clippard

Timothy Clippard

Timothy Allen Clippard, 51 of Jackson Missouri, was participating in a bass fishing tournament on Kentucky Lake on Thursday 9 May 2013. About 4:15 pm, he and his partner were on the way back to Moor’s Marina to weigh in their catch. While going north under Eggner’s Ferry Bridge in Marshall County Kentucky, their boat struck a submerged object, the outboard motor flipped up into the boat, and fatally struck Timothy Clippard in the head. Clippard died at the scene. The boat operator was not injured.

Early reports indicate the boat motor struck an underwater part of the bridge made of steel or concrete, broke loose, flipped into the boat, and struck Tim Clippard in the head. However, A Deputy Sheriff that spends a lot of time on Kentucky Lake says the current high waters could have huge trees floating down the river. They may have struck one of them. An investigation is ongoing.

Southeast Missourian reports Timothy Clippard was in the Angler’s Choice Bass Tournament on Kentucky Lake when the accident occurred. He was born in Cape Girarado Missouri, went the high school in Jackson, graduated from Southeast Missouri State University, married with two children, and worked for United Parcel Service (UPS) for over 30 years.

Tim Clippard’s funeral will be held on Wednesday May 15, 2013 at the First Baptist Church in Jackson.

While early reports have not indicated Timothy Clippard was struck by the outboard motor propeller, we suspect he may have been. Our Outboard Motor Struck Submerged Object and Flipped Into Boat: Exemplar Outboard Boat Accidents post lists approximately 30 similar accidents. Among them are some bass tournament accidents, and some professional bass fisherman fishing on their own.

While an investigating needs to be completed before anybody reaches any conclusions, speculation as to what the boat might have struck includes:

  • Some reports indicate the bass boat motor struck an underwater part of the bridge made of steel or concrete
  • A Deputy Sheriff familiar with Kentucky Lake said current high water levels can cause huge trees to float down the river. The drive might have struck large floating trees or debris.
  • A Friday 10 May 2013 post on WPSD-TV Facebook coverage of the accident made by a fisherman says high waters have barely submerged horizontal concrete beams, so it looks like you could cut through, but you can’t. He said he had mentioned it to another fisherman near there last week and there needs to be some more obvious signs warning not to cut through there. They are talking about portions of the bridge similar to those in lower right area of this photo – see the horizontal concrete beam just above the water.
  • Eggner's Ferry Bridge

    Eggner’s Ferry Bridge

  • We noticed that on January 26, 2012 the MV Delta Mariner was moving rocket parts on river (Tennessee River became Kentucky Lake) bound for NASA and the Air Force at Cape Canaveral, Florida. Delta Mariner struck the Eggner Ferry Bridge when it tried to pass under the bridge in the recreational channel instead of using the shipping channel. The impact knocked down about a 300 foot section of the bridge. It is possible that some debris from that impact or the cleanup afterwards contributed to this accident. This is total speculation by PGIC at this time. It just seems worth mentioning from the history of the bridge. We also see the bridge was hit by a towboat pushing several barges less than a month before the accident.

We stress that comments above about what the bass boat Timothy Clippard was in might have struck are pure speculation until officials complete their investigation.

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