Out of Control Speedboat Launches into House, Claims Lives of Couple

A tragic accident took the lives of a married couple on Saturday when their speedboat, out of control, veered off the Fox River in McHenry, Illinois, and crashed into a nearby house. The impact was so severe that it split the boat into two pieces. McHenry is located approximately 60 miles northwest of Chicago.

Surveillance footage captured the horrifying moment when the couple’s motorboat, moving at a high speed, hit a rough wake and headed straight for the river’s shoreline. The boat didn’t stop upon reaching the shore; instead, it continued its high-speed journey for another 73 feet across the grass before colliding with a house.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reported that the boat’s hull was split into two due to the impact. Onlookers immediately rushed to the scene to help the couple, who were trapped under the wreckage.

Julie Mertins, 61, succumbed to her injuries at the scene. Her husband, Timothy Mertins, 62, was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Despite the efforts of the medical team, he passed away on the operating table. The coroner’s report attributed both deaths to blunt force injuries. The couple was just a month away from celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary.

The cause of the accident remains unclear. Toxicology reports for the couple are still pending. Witnesses reported that the couple’s motorboat was moving “very fast” on the Fox River, weaving and cutting back and forth across the water before it hit the shoreline and the house, which sustained minor damage.

One witness reported that the couple seemed to be making a tight circle at a high speed when they lost control of the boat. The boat made a large circle, heading back towards the rocks, and made a right-hand turn while still moving at a high speed. The boat did not slow down before it went airborne and crashed.

The Mertins were remembered as a selfless and loving couple who enjoyed spending time together, whether it was doing yard work or grocery shopping. Their obituary stated, “If Tim was the Captain, Julie was First Mate, and they loved getting out on the water every chance they had. They would have celebrated 33 years of marriage on October 20th.”