Boat Accident Update

by Donna McCollum

Ashton LaMar remains in Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital's intensive care unit after a weekend boating accident. She is missing her left leg from the calf down and has a severely severed right leg and arm.

The accident happened on Saturday, May 26th, around 5:15 p.m. on Lake Sam Rayburn, near Shirley Creek Marina. A boat driven by 24-year-old Charles Clayton Gilstrap of Lufkin ran into LaMar while she was sitting in an inner tube.

The Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Department arrested Gilstrap, charging him with assault with a vehicle.  He posted a $25,000 bond.

In the ICU waiting room family members provided updates to LaMar's condition. A grandmother was there to feed the teen who had undergone surgery over the weekend. A high school principal was there to provide words of encouragement. And an aunt, with whom LaMar was living, provided medical conditions to friends and family.  Gwen Grumbles is a registered nurse who is familiar with emergencies at a Lufkin hospital. "

"She's is doing very well. She is a resilient 16-year-old. This is going to be tough, but we have all faith that she is going to recover from this. She was very, very fortunate that she didn't lose her life," said Grumbles.

Grumbles said a lot of different stories are circulating about what happened. She said about 50 teens, many who were drinking, were partying on "The Island," a popular gathering spot in Lake Sam Rayburn. "There have been a lot of rumors and various emotions," said Grumbles. LaMar's grandmother said, " My granddaughter told me this morning that she was in an inner tube when she was hit by the boat." In a published report, LaMar's mother said differently.

No matter how the accident occurred, the family says the teen is determined to get well. Doctors have told her she will be walking without a limp, but with a prosthesis, within a year.