Skip to main content

Fargo man gets year in jail after NW Minnesota tubing accident

  • Author:
  • Updated:

A 21-year-old Fargo man who was above the legal limit while operating a boat on an Otter Tail County lake, seriously injuring a tuber was sentenced to a year in jail this week.

The Perham Focus reports on July 4, 2012, Lucas Michael Buerkley was behind the wheel of the boat that was pulling his friend, Nicholas Schmit, on a tube on the north side of West McDonald Lake.

Buerkley was 19 and Schmit, also of Fargo, was 18 at the time, KK Radio reported.

Schmit fell off the tube and as Buerkley circled back around, he hit Schmit with the propeller of the boat, Lakes Radio reported.

Schmit was airlifted to the hospital with multiple injuries, including rib fractures and tissue damage to his back muscles.

Buerkley admitted to police he had been drinking earlier that day. He had a blood-alcohol content of .096 percent, above the state's limit of .08 percent.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says drunk boating is one of the leading factors for boating accidents and injuries in the state. In 2012, officials said alcohol was a contributing factor in more than 30 percent of deadly boating accidents.

Next Up

Akoya Lee

Byron native Ayoka Lee sets NCAA record for points in a game

The Kansas State forward broke a record shared by former Gopher Rachel Banham.

cold, wind chill, freezing

It's going to be stupid cold again Tuesday and Wednesday

They'll almost certainly be the 10th and 11th days with subzero temps this month.

Williams Uptown Pub

Williams Uptown Pub & Peanut Bar closes indefinitely after shooting

Reports say police have arrested two suspects in the incident.

Alex Rodríguez

A-Rod wears a Packers hat, Minnesotans lose their minds

The Timberwolves co-owner didn't endear himself to his fan base on Saturday night.

Flickr - Minneapolis police squad - Chad Davis

Police: Man shoots into crowd at funeral reception in Minneapolis

The shooting happened at a reception following a funeral on Saturday afternoon.

Screen Shot 2022-01-23 at 8.37.27 AM

Watch: Jimmy Garoppolo says 'F*** the Packers' after playoff win

The 49ers quarterback congratulated Robbie Gould in spectacular fashion.

Aaron Rodgers

America dunks on Aaron Rodgers after loss to 49ers

The Packers quarterback was destroyed on social media on Saturday night.

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.