Trial begins for Oshkosh man charged in 2022 Fox River boat crash

OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Trial is underway for an Oshkosh man accused of crashing his powerboat into a pleasure cruise paddleboat on the Fox River a couple of years ago.

53-year-old Jason Lindemann appeared in Winnebago County court to stand trial after being accused of driving his powerboat on the Fox River when it collided with a paddlewheel cruiser boat, injuring more than a dozen people.

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Jason Lindemann was arrested by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office three days after the July 9, 2022, incident.

Lindemann faces two felony counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety, 12 misdemeanor counts of failure to render aid after a boating accident involving injury, and one misdemeanor count of negligent operation of a boat.

During Monday’s opening statements, the prosecution said Lindemann’s boat was accelerating at the time of the crash, while the defense argued that the evidence in the case would show that it was an accident.

“This boat had 1800 horsepower,” stated Assistant Attorney General Emily Thompson. “It had four 450 horsepower engines on the back of it. It was going 46 miles per hour, and his boat slammed right into the biggest boat on the water at the time.”

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“The captain of the cruise was at the helm, who had bird’s eye view and watched it all happen,” said Scott Ceman, Defense Attorney. “‘The boat was coming at us, and finally, I think he sees us, and he veers off at the end to turn off.’ That’s what he said happened.”

Lindemann has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him. The Trial is expected to last two weeks.