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Local News

Downers Grove woman thrown from boat in crash on Fox River

Neighbor not involved in crash arrested for allegedly interfering with emergency crews

Downtown St. Charles can be seen looking south down the Fox River. Pottawatomie Golf Course is to the east in this photo.
Downtown St. Charles can be seen looking south down the Fox River. Pottawatomie Golf Course is to the east in this photo.

DOWNERS GROVE – Two boats collided the night of July 6 on the Fox River near the Pottawatomie Golf Course in St. Charles, throwing a Downers Grove woman into the water, police said.

At 11:10 p.m. July 6, members of both the St. Charles Police Department and St. Charles Fire Department responded to the Fox River for a report of a crash between two boats, according to a news release from the St. Charles Police Department.

When emergency units arrived to the river's edge at the golf course, boaters were tending to Kathryn Gazzola, 33, of Downers Grove, who had been thrown from the boat that was hit in the collision.

West Chicago resident Jared Younglove, 27, was operating a Sea-Doo Sportster boat that collided with an Ebbtide boat operated by Eric Repp, 34, of St. Charles. Gazzola was a passenger on the Ebbtide.

According to the release, police determined impairment was not a factor in the crash, and no citations had been issued at the time of the release.

Gazzola was transported to Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release, though a hospital spokesperson said she was in serious condition the afternoon of July 7.

A man who lived across the river from the incident, Todd Surta, 61, of the 03N800 block of Route 31, St. Charles, told police he heard the crash and came over in a boat to help. However, police said Surta repeatedly interfered with emergency responders as they tried to help victims and investigate the collision.

According to the release, Surta was warned he would be arrested if he did not leave. After a brief struggle, he was arrested and charged with resisting and obstructing a peace officer. Surta posted bond and was released, but he allegedly attempted to start another fight with police as he left the station.

Surta is due in court Aug. 17.

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