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WKU Bass Fishing Team student dead after boat collision

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Editor’s note: This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

A WKU student was the victim of a boat collision at a collegiate bass fishing tournament on Thursday, Jan. 25 and was pronounced dead this morning.

Johnathan Brian, a junior and member of the WKU Bass Fishing Team, was hospitalized after the collision, alongside two others. WKU Bass Fishing Team officials confirmed Brian passed away this morning.

The accident occurred when two student fishing boats collided on Lake Murray in South Carolina preceding the collegiate fishing event known as the Bassmaster Series. 

It is believed the boats were going through practice runs for the tournament that was set to start the next day. One of the boats held Johnathan Brian and his WKU teammate and the other also held two anglers.

Brian, his teammate and one of the other anglers were transferred to the hospital following the collision. 

According to officials of the Bassmaster Series on Thursday, Jan. 25, his teammate and the other boat’s angler have been released from the local hospital. They are believed to be recovering from their injuries after their discharge. 

“Please keep the family and friends of Johnathan Brian in your thoughts and prayers,” Jason Wilson, the team’s faculty advisor, said. “The Bass Fishing Team is a close-knit group of students who have been deeply impacted by the tragic loss of their teammate and friend. His fishing partner was also injured in the accident, and we wish him a speedy recovery as we anticipate his return to campus.” 

Despite the incident, the collegiate tournament continued as scheduled and ended on Saturday.

Sports reporter Shelby Huelsman can be reached at [email protected].

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