Jet Skier Severely Injured in Lake Oroville Boating Accident

Man Leaves Jet Ski and is Immediately Struck

A hit-and-run Lake Oroville boating accident over Memorial Day Weekend left a man seriously injured. The boat operator has yet to be apprehended. 

The incident occurred on Saturday, May 29, 2021. The injured man, Randy Mitchell, fell off his jet ski and was then struck by a passing boat. This occurred near the Bidwell Bar Bridge on Lake Oroville at approximately 5:00 p.m.  Mr. Mitchell was airlifted to a Chico hospital, where he was hospitalized. He has since been released and faces a lengthy recovery after having suffered injuries including a fractured shoulder, several broken ribs, a punctured lung, a spleen injury, a fractured pelvis, and multiple lacerations.  

Boating Operator Did Not Stop to Render Aid

Following the impact, the light blue boat that struck Mr. Mitchell continued on in the direction of either the main lake body or Bidwell Canyon Marina. The operator did not stop and render aid, as is required by state law.  The light blue boat had a tower and could have been a wakeboard-style boat. Several males were described as having been aboard the vessel. 

Victim’s Account of the Incident

After spending three nights in the hospital, Mitchell was released on Tuesday. He has spoken with news outlets and indicates he is still in quite a bit of pain. He also provided details of the incident. He said the water was really choppy while he was operating the jet ski near the Bidwell Bar Bridge with his daughter. At one point could not hold onto the jet ski any longer without also pulling his daughter off the personal watercraft, so he let go. At that point, he felt an instant impact and was trying to catch his breath underwater. He watched the boat that struck him continue on, without offering help. He saw one of the boat occupants looked back towards him.

Mitchell’s daughter got him back onto the jet ski and drove him to the Loafer Creek launch ramp, where park rangers responded to the major medical event. 

A Call to Come Forward

Mitchell is requesting that the boat operator come forward. He speculates that they may have been hesitant at the time if they had been drinking, but he could use the insurance because he is facing additional surgery.  

California State Parks officials continue to actively investigate the incident and have requested that anyone with additional information contact Peace Officer Buis at (530) 990-6463.

Watch the YouTube video. The clip below, which features a report on the Lake Oroville boating accident, was posted by ABC10.

Oroville Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello, and thank you for reading our report of this recent boating accident on Lake Oroville. My name is Ed Smith, and I am a personal injury lawyer serving residents of Oroville, California. For close to four decades, my team of injury lawyers has advocated for those who have suffered injuries caused by the negligence, carelessness, or recklessness of another. After an accident that causes severe injuries, the primary focus should be on the injured person’s physical recovery. If there is a legal matter that arises from the incident, we advise that experienced legal counsel be sought. This can free up time and mental energy that would be better spent focusing on healing. If you have been injured due to the actions of another person or entity and would like compassionate, free, and friendly legal advice, don’t hesitate to call us at (530) 392-9400. If you will be calling from outside the local area code, please feel free to use our toll-free line: (800) 404-5400.

To learn more about our firm’s results and what our clients have to say about our services, please visit the links below:


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