3 injured after car strikes boat at Bass Pro Shops

3 injured after car strikes boat at Bass Pro Shops (Image 1)

A family of three from Wisconsin was injured Friday after a pickup truck struck a boat at Bass Pro Shops at the Opry Mills Mall.

Metro police spokesperson Kristin Mumford said the Ford F-150 truck jumped a curb in the parking lot around 12:15 p.m. and struck the Tracker fishing boat, which was on display just outside the store.

The collision knocked the boat from its trailer and onto a mother, father and son as they were exiting the store.

All three were trapped under the boat for about 20 minutes before crews could free them.

“When the driver of the pickup struck the boat, it flipped and landed on all three victims,” Mumford explained.  “The victims were trapped for approximately 20 minutes while emergency personnel jacked the boat up and were able to provide aid to the three people.”

Mary Ferge, 56, her husband, David Ferge, 57, and their son, Jason Ferge, 34, were transported by ambulance to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Mumford said the mother's injuries were the most serious although they were not life-threatening, and she was listed in critical but stable condition late Friday afternoon.

David and Jason Ferge were both in stable condition.     

The pickup truck's driver, 73-year-old Charles Gillespie, told police he and a friend, the owner of the truck, had switched places so that his friend could run into Bass Pro.

As Gillespie began to drive the truck around the lot, he said his foot got stuck on the accelerator.

Mumford said, “He said his foot got caught up in the accelerator.  There are some distinctive tracks, tire tracks.  Witnesses saw smoke coming out of the tires like they were spinning.  He hit the boat at a high rate of speed. The boat went up and struck the three members of the Ferge family.”

Gillespie, of Lawrenceville, Illinois, was uninjured.  He was issued a citation for failure to exercise due care.

This weekend is the kick-off to the Spring Fishing Classic at Bass Pro Shops.

The 17-day event begins February 24 and continues through March 11 at 52 Bass Pro Shops stores nationwide.

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