Woman dies after boat hits I-205 bridge

Both people on the boat were not wearing life vests, deputies said

The boat sank after hitting a bridge pylon at a high rate of speed, May 22 2017. (MCSO)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman died Monday after a boat she was on in the Columbia River hit the I-205 bridge, sheriff’s deputies confirmed.

The boat sank after hitting a bridge pylon at a high rate of speed, May 22 2017. (MCSO)

Heidi Knight, 46, and Steven Schalk, 55, weren’t wearing life vests when the crash occurred, according to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

Initial reports suggest Schalk was driving the boat at a high rate of speed when he hit a pylon on the Glen Jackson Bridge. The boat immediately sank and both Knight and Schalk went down with it, deputies said.

Good Samaritans were able to reach the victims on another boat and pull them from the water. They started CPR on Knight, but she later died at the hospital, according to deputies. Schalk sustained non-life-threatening injuries.

Authorities were only able to recover parts of the boat after it sank.

Investigators believe speed and water conditions were both contributing factors.