Authorities ID victim from fatal boating incident in Sabine Lake

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Authorities have released the name of a man who died Sunday after being ejected from a boat.

Jefferson County Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace Marc DeRouen identified the man as Saul Garza Jr., 35, of Palmview, Texas.

Garza had been living at the mobile home park at Umphrey Park on Pleasure Island for some time while working in the area, according to authorities.

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Autopsy results are pending.

Garza had just dropped off two people at the boat ramp at Walter Umphrey State Park near the Causeway Bridge following a fishing trip in Sabine Lake Sunday afternoon. The fishermen were going to back the boat trailer down the ramp.

Authorities believe Garza had drove the boat back out and was turning around when the boat was hit by a wave, tossing him out.

A Good Samaritan on land saw the boat going in circles in the lake and called authorities.

The U.S. Coast Guard was able to recover the victim, and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division recovered the boat.

Texas Parks and Wildlife also responded to the call. The agency is responsible for investigating all boating accidents in the state with the reports submitted for statistical purposes, TP&W Capt. Ryan Hall said.