Child Struck by Boat Suffers Severe Injuries

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WALTON COUNTY-- A 12-year-old boy from Crestview is in critical condition after a hit-and-run boat accident at Choctaw Beach in the Choctawhatchee Bay.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the hit-and-run.

FWC officials say Clarke Barfield IV and his father were swimming in the lake Saturday evening. His father was casting a net and Clarke was swimming with a snorkel and mask further from shore when a boat struck him.

Officials say his father got a good look at the light-colored boat which had a black upward motor and power pull.

Clarke's father carried him on shore and flagged down a nearby driver who called 911.

The Walton County Sheriff's Office received the call around 7:45 p.m. Saturday night.

Clarke was air-lifted to the Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola where he has undergone surgery. Officials say his injuries are severe.

The FWC is urging anyone who has information about the hit-and-run to call its hotline at 1-888-404-3922.