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Man arrested, woman injured after being struck by boat, propeller on Lake Hefner

OKLAHOMA CITY - A woman suffered some serious injuries after falling off a boat and being struck by its propeller on Lake Hefner early Thursday morning.

The driver of the boat was arrested and cited for boating while under the influence.

Police were called to the lake's shoreline near Red Rocks Canyon Grill at around 3:00 am Thursday. When they arrived, a woman in her late teens was being carried off the water with gashes to her ankle and upper thigh, police said.

"Thankfully she wasn't killed by it," said Master Sergeant Gary Knight, an Oklahoma City Police spokesman. "She did tumble out of the boat; the boat actually went over her and her left ankle and leg were struck by the propeller."

The woman was tended to by paramedics and transported to an area hospital. Police expect the woman to be okay.

"It was bad enough that the cut to the thigh went all the way to the bone. Obviously a serious leg wound," said Knight.

The woman, along with two other women in their late teens, were on a pontoon boat with two men in their 30s, according to police reports.

All told police they had been drinking.

The boat's driver, 35-year-old Matthew David Howard, was arrested and cited for boating under the influence. Police reports say Howard refused field sobriety tests and said to an officer "to just arrest him now."

Howard was arrested and booked into the Oklahoma County jail.

Ahead of the Labor Day weekend, police are urging safety and smart decisions.

"It`s just like getting behind the wheel of an automobile; when you've had too much to drink, bad things can happen," Knight said. "If you`re going to be out operating an automobile or boat, whatever it is, do so responsibly. Don`t let anybody get hurt."