Remembering Burlington Boat Crash Victims One Year Later - FOX 18 Quad Cities News and Weather

Remembering Burlington Boat Crash Victims One Year Later

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Sunday marked the one year anniversary of a boating accident in Burlington that took four lives. Family and friends gathered to remember those victims.

Last year, two boats collided-- one carrying 11 people -- the other just one.

Dozens gathered in Burlington this weekend for a tribute to the four who lost their lives in that accident: Caitlyn Atchley, Jacob Boyd, Blake Eakins and Matthew House all died in the accident. All were in their early 20s.

Their friends and family were sharing memories and raising awareness for river safety in their honor.

The community has raised more than $5,000 since last year through fundraisers and benefit concerts - all to go toward various tributes to remember the four friends.

Sunday morning, they gathered to walk five miles to the river wearing life jackets to symbolize river safety.

Family members are also selling t-shirts, with the proceeds going to the Des Moines County Water Search and Rescue Team.

And, Sunday afternoon, family and friends dedicated a memorial bench in their honor.

"One thing we all have in common is we all love these kids and they loved us and I just wanted to keep this day special for that reason," said Louise Butherus, a victim's mother.

And it doesn't stop there.

Some of the families have organized a non-profit called the 'River Rat Safety and Awareness' group. They will be putting up river safety signs along the river for the upcoming boating season.

The organization will also be installing a lighthouse near the river to be dedicated in memory of Jacob, Caitlyn, Matt and Blake. It will also be dedicated to all past, present, and future boaters.

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