A Trophy Club man who died from a propeller strike last week on Denton Creek may have hit an object with his boat, throwing him into the water, authorities said Monday.
Police and a game warden said Monday they still are not sure how the accident occurred that killed Matthew Meinert, 38, of Trophy Club. But the boat was damaged, police Lt.Tracey Shields said Monday.
Meinert’s 2-year-old son, Oliver, who was with his father, was found safe the next morning walking through the woods near the creek. “He has a very limited vocabulary,” Shields said. “To say absolutely how it happened, we can’t.”
Meinert launched a fishing boat about 5 p.m. March 6 from a Trophy Club ramp and then disappeared.
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“There was no indication that he had had a problem with the motor and that he was in the water to fix it when he got hit,” Shields said.
Denton County dispatchers received a 911 call after boaters found Meinert’s empty fishing boat on the bank of Denton Creek and a search began.
The boat was found beached in an “unusual location” on the shore of Denton Creek on Monday, just west of U.S. 377, Shields has said.
At about 8:15 a.m. the next morning, a game warden and a Flower Mound police officer were walking through the woods near Denton Creek when Oliver Meinert walked up to them, Texas Game Warden Cliff Swofford has said.
An intense search for Matthew Meinert ended Friday when game wardens found his body in about 6 feet of water near the area where the boat was found, police said.
A preliminary autopsy by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office indicates Meinert died from an accidental boat propeller strike. The autopsy will be final once toxicology reports are completed.
The family of Matthew Meinert on Saturday released a statement thanking residents, game wardens, police and searchers for their prayers and support.
Their message included this statement: “The family of Matthew Meinert are very saddened at the loss of a wonderful husband, father, son and great friend. His love for his wife and son Oliver, was beyond belief. Matt's final hours were spent doing what he loved, playing and fishing with Oliver. Our faith has told us that Matthew was looking over his son during the night Oliver spent alone in the woods.”
This report contains information from Star-Telegram archives.