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5 Die As Boats Collide in Bayou

January 15, 1998

INTRACOASTAL CITY, La. (AP) _ The Coast Guard searched a Louisiana bayou early today for a woman who vanished when a boat of duck hunters collided with a vessel four times its size. Five fellow hunters were killed.

Seven hunters were aboard the 28-foot aluminum boat that struck the 110-foot oil rig crew boat Gear Tide early Wednesday. An injured hunter was pulled from the water by people on the crew boat.

The dead were pulled from the sunken hunting boat hours after the accident in Freshwater Bayou, 30 miles southwest of New Iberia. No one aboard the larger boat was injured.

The Gear Tide had left Freshwater City with 25 workers for an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, said William O’Malley, chief executive of Tidewater Inc., the boat’s owner. It had turned back because of bad weather.

It was raining at the time of the early evening collision. The Coast Guard said visibility was about a mile.

Among those killed was T. Wayne Robertson, 47, of Winston-Salem, N.C., the president of sports marketing enterprises for the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. He supervised sports programs, including the NASCAR Winston Cup series and the Vantage golf tournaments, a company spokesman said.

Also killed was former Gulf & Western executive Dan Maddox, 88, of Nashville, Tenn., the Coast Guard said. His wife, Margaret Maddox, 68, was missing.

Also killed were three guides _ brothers Norman and Aladdin Stelly of Forked Island and Bryant Vincent of Intracoastal City.

The injured hunter, Matt Dobson of Franklin, Tenn., was in stable condition with a broken leg at an area hospital.

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