At least one Clermont County man has been identified as one of the dead in a tragic houseboat accident which occurred one week ago. On Aug. 25 at approximately 4 a.m., a houseboat carrying five people was struck by a barge under the I-471 highway crossing bridge at Cincinnati. One man, David Caudill of Clermont County, survived the accident.
Although still under investigation, it is believed that the houseboat became stranded due to a power failure and that all of the passengers were below decks trying to restore power when the barge hit the houseboat. Why the barge was unable to detect the houseboat before the impact is still unknown.
Killed in the accident was the houseboat owner, Gary Betz of Clermont County, who had reportedly only purchased the houseboat recently from a pawn shop. While Caudill was spared, three other men besides Betz also died, including a Donald Gilliland. The other two victims have not yet been identified.
Despite the similarities in name, Caudill is not the same David Caudill that once served as Clerk of Courts in Clermont County.