Police Provide Full Details of Fatal Watercraft CollisionPress Release
At approximately 4 p.m. today, the San Angelo Police Department’s Lake Division Police located and identified the body of Manuel C. Rivas, Jr. as the man fatally injured during yesterday’s watercraft collision near the Angelo State University Lake House on Lake Nasworthy.
SAPD Lake Division responded to the area just after 7 p.m. yesterday for the report of a boating accident. Once on scene, police learned 20-year-old Rivas and 19-year-old Natalie Valles were kayaking alongside one another when a Jet Ski collided with them. Valles was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening head injury. She was later released and her current condition is unknown. Rivas, who was not wearing a life jacket at the time, never surfaced after the collision. Both Rivas and Valles were students at ASU.
The pilot of the jet ski, 29-year-old Bryce Brooks of San Angelo, was not injured during the crash. During yesterday’s investigation, Brooks told police he was traveling towards the setting sun and did not see the kayakers before the collision occurred. Brooks performed a battery of standardized field sobriety tests at the scene and showed no signs of intoxication. No charges have been filed and no citations have been issued at this time.
After yesterday’s collision, the SAPD Lake Division along with Game Wardens from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department searched the surrounding waterway with the assistance of sonar and drowned victim recovery equipment. SAPD K9 Units also assisted with a land search. The search continued until approximately midnight and resumed this morning at 7 a.m. This afternoon, authorities concentrated their search efforts on a specific location of the lake after pinpointing the crash site. During the search, sonar equipment alerted police to an area of interest. Soon after, Rivas was located utilizing specialized equipment for drowned victim recovery.
Members of the Raven Response Group (RRG) also aided today’s search efforts by offering two Cadaver Dogs. SAPD Crime Scene Technicians were also present to collect and process evidence. Justice of the Peace J.P. McGuire responded and officially pronounced Rivas deceased. Detective James Hernandez is the lead Investigator on this case.
Angelo State University faculty was on hand Sunday to assist the Rivas family and comfort ASU students who were at the scene.
Upon notification that student Manuel "Manny" Rivas was identified as the victim, Angelo State University President Dr. Brian J. May issued the following statement:
"Our hearts go out to his family, friends and the ASU community. We offer condolences and ask for your continued prayers and support."