By Rachel Slavik, WCCO-TV  

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (WCCO) — Investigators are trying to figure out what caused a deadly boating accident in Alexandria.

Two people were killed, and four others hurt when the watercraft crashed on Lake Victoria on Saturday.

The calm water of Lake Victoria is a constant draw during the summer months.

“It’s a very popular area for boating,” said Sgt. Brad Brejcha of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

Mathew Spletzer, 30, Nicole Getz, 27, joined four other friends for a day on the water.

As the day came to an end, their 24-foot boat somehow crashed into two boat lifts and hit a tree. Spletzer and Getz were killed.

“The group she was with lived on the lake in a big boat. That was their summer fun,” said Jerome Getz, Nicole’s father. “Went over their own wake and got airborne.”

Matt’s family said he loved the outdoors and loved to be with friends.  Nicole’s family remembered a fun loving person who was ready for anything.

“She was a kind person.  She’d do anything for anyone,” said Getz.

“We just want everyone to use safety so we don’t have to tell parents of a 27-year-old they’ve lost a child,” said Sgt. Brejcha.

With summer just beginning, Nicole’s family hopes their loss is a reminder to others who plan to spend time on the water this summer.

“Just be conscience of what you’re doing. No brakes on water. There’s no forgiveness. Just happens in a split second and you’re done,” said Getz.

Investigators say alcohol was on the boat.  Friends say Nicole was driving and had a drink or two, but they say she was not drunk.

Comments (71)
  1. shleby says:

    the poor people. I fel sad for the family.

  2. trl the alligator says:

    yo Curt…..DID YOU RREAD THE ARICLE?… said in plain english that it was a 24′ inboard…..duh.

    1. @trl says:

      Guess what they added that since his comment, they do update things in case you didnt know, go pick a fight somewhere else, living joke trl alligator.

    2. msavick says:


  3. yup says:

    I’m wondering how large the boat was too?

  4. vigvee says:

    Sad, clearly a result of inexperienced operators.

    1. John says:

      Sad, yes…..Inexperienced operators, my eye, try alcohol and stupidity……

      1. Trish says:

        She was not drunk!!! she had two at the most, was just inexperienced, and lost control.. and was my sisters best friend!!!

        1. Logical says:

          Trish, he didn’t say “drunk”. He said alcohol. Two drinks in an average size woman is usually legally intoxicated though. Don’t drink and drive doesn’t stop on land.

          It is worth noting that you may have a skewed perception to alcohol. I would hope you would take away the lesson of BOAT RESPONSIBLY from this. Not worry about trying to validate the immature partytime activities of young adults who, quite frankly, should know better. They cared more about their fun. End of story. Painful bite in the ass. aka life.

      2. Logical says:

        I agree with you, John.

  5. rj says:

    If going any kind of speed, the visual from the drivers seat isn’t very good. Too many people, not enough attention to where they were???

  6. Clint Make My Day says says:

    just a thought but maybe before we get all snippity and pizzy on comments maybe you need to realize they change these things and add detail constantly.
    What you read may not refect what was there 5 minutes before.
    just saying …… and maybe zip the lip in general “trl”

  7. Wild Ride says:

    LMFAO — ever get to a like there rj ???? lol

    The pic you commenting on above is one of the standard they use here. No what the boat is or was involved in this sad deal.

    I won’t comment on the alcohol as who knows? Pretty common for boaters to imbibe – like a bar on water. 😉

    1. @wild side says:

      Walking tree stump this is actual photo, not a generic photo, I suppose all the local newsites have the same generic photo, Please know something before you open your disfigured face

  8. w hill says:

    think of the families and the poor people who lost their lives instead of stupid argueing how how big the boat was my god

    1. anon says:

      amen! he was my ex boyfriend and she was a friend of mine. they will be greatly missed.

  9. msavick says:

    This was a highly preventable tragedy . Suggest all take a safe boating course given by many organizations like the DNR, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, etc. There is a lot more to boating safely than starting the engine and steering. Boat owners are responsible for the lives of their passengers.

    1. paulc says:

      YES!! What we need are more government regulations.

  10. Joe says:

    Most boat operator’s don’t know most of the boating laws. Green Buoy, Red Buoy, White Buoy. Most people must think these are for looks. Fill up the cooler with beer and go like a bat out of hell. That seems to be the standard .

  11. mike says:

    I feel sad for hearing this has happened. But to know that the possibility of alcohol and/or inexperience could be involved I don’t feel as sad. People should realize the all recreational vehicles( snowmobile, ATV, boat, or etc) has the same rules as driving a car and truck.

    1. Kyle says:

      Motor powered ‘recreation’ of all kinds is simply a dangerous, and environmentally destructive thing. Tragic fatalities and terrible injuries are bound to occur. It is time for people, for a host of reasons, to renounce motorized rec and go by silent muscle power.

      1. Don't be ridiculous. says:

        Go crawl back into your cave.

    2. Stephanie Levasseur-Duszynski says:

      Yes, it’s so much less of a tragedy for this poor family because the driver was new at it. Good call. /sarcasm

  12. TMarie says:

    I knew the people involved in this accident. Some better than others, it’s a very sad deal what happened. All of them had been drinking except for one. I feel for all of them and the sad thing is that the sober one should’ve been driving. 😦

  13. msavick says:

    You are only in control on what knowledge and skills you acquire and how you behave. Now, I mostly sail or kayak on non-motorized lakes. I have rescued people on the Atlantic, the Mississippi River and city lakes. The common theme is lack of knowledge and skills. I make it easier to attract attention and be rescued. I wear a PFD 100% of my time on the water and each of my PFDs have a whistle and flashlight attached to get attention if needed. I used the whistle on Lake Pepin when a sailboat I was a guest aboard was swamped. Someone heard my whistle and called the Sheriff to assist. I also carry aerial flares on large bodies of water.

  14. mike says:

    I ride/ race ATV’s for over 10 yrs. My sport has taken huge hits because either from inexperience or/and alcohol. I discussed this with either manufacturers and dealers. The only way to control this is issuing a license for this. I hate seeing fathers buying ATV’s for kids that are to big knowwing there is stickers plus paperwork saying that no one under 16 can use it. Then hearing them blaming them for hurting their kids.

  15. swerver says:

    Ah ok that has very little to do with an adult operating a boat under the influence. I may order pizza for dinner, just thought you’d like to know that

  16. Jack Anderson says:

    I live in the area, but no nothing about this accident. If alcohol was a factor, that is tragic. Law enforcement will sort that out. Operator negligence? Tragedy compounded! Hopefully though, investigations will go beyond. I have a similarly sized boat, although not a high speed one. A manufacturing defect (Volvo Penta by the way) caused the power steering system to rupture and fail. An imparied and/or inexperienced operator would be significantly challeged to deal with what I had to. EVERYTHING should be evaluated here.

    1. Mandy says:

      Thank you Jack

  17. Looking says:

    Boats and Booze just don’t work together. Wait let’s go see if someone caught too many fish.

  18. Shocked in Alexandria says:

    I happen to know 2 of the individuals involved in the crash. I now, in addition to praying for them and their families, I’ll now be praying for most of the people on this blog as well. In fact this group is trained and knowledgable about boating and water. And, yes, the boat was large enough. It’s amazing to me that you can’t see the bigger picture. There are hundreds of people grieving their loss and all you can do is judge. So, I pray that nothing happens to you and your loved ones. And, God forbid if it does, I pray you don’t have to sit there in HORROR watching complete strangers judge your loved ones.

    1. Syd says:

      My sister lives by Lake Victoria

    2. sister's friends says:

      I totally agree with you Shocked in Alexandria, i too just barely knew the two ppl involved they were my sisters best friends. And i too am getting sick of reading these posts by these ppl who have no sympathy at all…

    3. logical says:

      So then they disregarded their wealth of boating knowledge to drink while operating boat (illegal) and have high speeds near shore & docks (illegal) because ??? We CAN see the bigger picture. Perhaps it is you, who are too emotionally close to this story, that is not being logical. They went out on a public lake. Acted the fool. This time their actions had different consequences.

      It IS smart to pass judgement on this because hopefully it will deter others from making the same stupid decisions. Grow up.

      1. Stephanie Levasseur-Duszynski says:

        So judge them on a board where their poor family members are going to be here to read your callous comments? Perhaps it is YOU who needs to grow up. How horrid it must be to live such a bitter life.

        1. Good Ol Boy says:

          Stephanie, family members should probably not read comment sections on stories such as this.

          Also, it is not an appropriate venue for extending your sympathies to the family. If you really wanted to extend true sympathies, you’d do it another way.

          Your comment was the one out of line.

      2. Brit says:

        How do you know this accident happened that way logical? Were you there? The artical does not state any of that happening? It says “friends say” that is not a fact. Way to go genious.

    4. Good Ol Boy says:

      Actually, someone else who “knows them” commented that the one driving was inexperienced and lost control.

      I’ve driven a boat a LOT, and “losing control” is something that shouldn’t ever happen. It happens when you do something dangerous and unnecessary.

      It doesn’t make it any less a tragedy that good people who were loved by their families and friends were lost. I want to make that clear also.

    5. Mandy says:

      Amen Shocked in Alexandria!!! I agree with EVERYTHING you said!!

  19. msavick says:

    Agreed. A trained, experienced, sober operator would not be operating at high speed near docks in violation of courtesy and wake regulations. Part of training and experience is learning to anticipate and pre-plan for emergencies like equipment failures and react accordingly. Boats have stopping distances and reaction time land like cars you need to manage the space around your vessel based on visibility speed, weather, and sea conditions. Reaction time and effectiveness are improved by training. You can train your instinct by asking your self “what if this fails or that happens?”. If you can’t answer the question, find out by taking a course, asking a well qualified person, checking the owners manual, etc.

    Reaction time and effectiveness are severely reduced by alcohol and inexperience. Power boats are equipped with multiple means to shut down but you have to program that into your brain before the emergency.

  20. Brit from Alexandria says:

    I am with “shocked” from Alexandria. I had the privilege of knowing Nicole before this tragedy happened … And I am horrified by everyone on here judging!!! This was an accident!!! She would have never judged any of you!! Please stop these comments before someone in her family sees them. Where is the respect! This is public viewing! How would you feel if some comments like this were wrote about your daughter, sister, best friend, mother, etc … Thanks!

    1. @all you saints here says:

      with ya Brit

      folks – if you have nothing better to do with your petty lives beyond ripping and palying not it all and God may I suggest you wander into the areas damaged by the tornados today and do some work. Grow up. You remind me of my kids 20 years ago when they were 5 and 6

    2. dah-der-dolt says:

      If some1 close to me died I wouldn’t be spending my time reading comments on here.

    3. logical says:

      Wow. What a self absorbed point of view. This is a public news article about an event that happened on a public lake with people that were not following public laws. If others want to form an opinion and post it, they have every right to do so.

      If you care about her family, bake some cookies and stop by to offer condolences and a hug. Weirdo.

      1. Charlie says:

        Logical… it is a qustion of what is appropriate here…

        and while you may a right to say what you want, it may better serve you to hold your comments now.

        Thank you.

    4. Good Ol Boy says:

      The word “accident” is like the word “sorry.”

      It means absolutely nothing to the person killed or injured by the person using poor judgement.

    5. Good Ol Boy says:

      You’re horrified that people are saying she may have been somewhat responsible for her own death, another death, and 2 serious injuries by consuming alcohol and driving a boat in an irresponsible manner?


      Wasn’t she?

  21. Syd says:

    I live in Alexandia and 3 people have died in just as many days!

  22. Kim says:


  23. msavick says:

    I’m waiting for a call/ email from well know emergency response group to help in Minneapolis as I have done in prior tornadoes and floods in the region. Please contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army, Nechama or the City of Minneapolis before entering the tornado damage area and /or follow instructions that are provided in the news media and web sites These groups will coordinate the efforts and let you know when and where you are needed. It may take a day or more before it is safe and effective for volunteers to arrive. Please join me if volunteers are requested. After a day of cleaning up you will be hot , dirty, tired, and very satisfied.

  24. msavick says:

    Some of us would like to prevent other families from experiencing the pain from an avoidable tragedy. Accidents are caused, they don’t just happen. Almost all accidents are caused by human error. Such errors are reduced and or properly responded to by well trained alert operators who know the rules, know the water, know their equipment, and know emergency procedures. Again training is available from well know organizations like the US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Power Squadron, and many other accredited organizations. I have many years of experience with public boating safety training, search, and rescue. and I update my training frequently.
    Please learn and be safe.

  25. Brit from Alexandria says:

    In this article it says alcohol was on board. It does NOT say they were drunk. Who knows this happened by the landing. Maybe they had just gotten on the lake and something went wrong. But everyone is assuming they were drunk and being reckless. People don’t have to judge before details are stated!

    1. Sanity says:

      @ Brit


      I knew the people involved in this accident. Some better than others, it’s a very sad deal what happened. All of them had been drinking except for one. I feel for all of them and the sad thing is that the sober one should’ve been driving.”

      ” Trish

      She was not drunk!!! she had two at the most, was just inexperienced, and lost control.. and was my sisters best friend!!!”

      Alcohol on board, friends stating they were drinking; you don’t have to be falling down drunk to be impared and make bad decisions. Inexperience and alcohol can be deadly in any situation involving motorized equipment. I am sorry for the loss of life but that doesn’t change the fact that this accident was probably 100% preventable.

  26. Disgusted says:

    What a disgrace. And who is monitoring these comments. Many of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      Freedom. I love it.

  27. simpllivin' says:

    What a terrible and tragic story. Hugs and prayers to the families of the beautiful, young lives lost, and to those survivors who will live with this horrific memory, forever.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      Not the place for you to post that, simpllivin’.

  28. Stephanie Levasseur-Duszynski says:

    What a horrible tragedy for this family, only compounded by the heartless comments posted here. For any family members and friends reading these comments as they try to piece together what happened to your loved ones, I hope you can ignore the bitterness from those who obviously weren’t taught better manners. Our hearts go out to you.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      What comments are “heartless” exactly, Stephanie? The ones who condemn drinking and boating and being inexperienced and speeding near docks?

      I don’t understand your viewpoint on this.

  29. Haley says:

    So disgusted by the absolute lack of at least common courtesy here! “Have you ever heard the saying do not speak ill of the dead.” This is a complete tragedy here! Yes there was error written all over this and this was preventable I knew Matt and he was the nicest sweetest guy you could meet, he had a smile that lit up a room and a great laugh. This should be a teachable moment so no other Matt’s or Nicoles go before there time.

    1. Good Ol Boy says:

      I don’t understand your comment. First you say you’re disgusted a “lack of common courtesy” and then you say exactly what they said.


  30. annoyed says:

    No wonder this world is going to hell. Some of these comments are absolutely horrible. Don’t you people have any morals at all? Maybe instead of sitting in judgement of these people and what their actions may or may not have been, you should sit in judgement of yourself, and be just a little compassionate.

  31. msavick says:

    My form of compassion is to try to get people to use this tragedy as an incentive to improve their boating skills and act responsibly to prevent the kind of pain and felt by the families, friends, communities, coworkers, and employers are going through here. All of this was preventable.

  32. Bill Birditzman says:

    Not many people actually wear their safety laynard, if you are planning on driving fast or especially if you are alone. Put it on! A real possibility here is they hit a way tossing the driver off balance. If the laynard was on, then the motor would stop, maybe preventing such a severe outcome or the accident all together.

  33. mark says:

    This was truly a tragedy. Possibly preventable.. no one knows for sure yet. Yes, everyone on the lakes should be educated on boater safety. Point made, attaboy, give yourselves a pat on the back. This forum is just as much a place for people to share their thoughts and memories of the victims as it is for theself righteous dbags to shake their fingers at everyone else.

  34. Disturbed neighbor says:

    What an awful tragedy. I drive by there everyday. Several times a day sometimes. I for one will remember these 2 people as being full of life, kind, and I think one was said to have a “contagious laugh”. Speaking from all of us from Alex, many thoughts and prayers to the family. And to the rest of you who decide to use this as a spot to voice your nasty opinion, if it is even called an opinion, I will pray for you as well. Hopefully the lord will be able to reach you before it is too late.

  35. Daryl Miller says:

    Live and Let Live –
    Sadden I have to forward the numbers tomorrow at the bank while the funeral is taking place.
    I pray for all family’s involved.
    There is no easy answer to why or how…but please respect your comments to those family’s

  36. Mandy says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????? No Matter WHAT the reason behind the accident, two people…MY FRIENDS, someone’s daughter and son DIED!!!!!!! I can’t BELIEVE you have the disrespect to post something SO RUDE and sarcastic as “I like Turtles” or “I hope no fish were hurt” YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure all you people going on and on about this have NEVER EVER made a mistake or done something wrong in your life before!!! PERFECT IS WHAT YOU ARE RIGHT!!???? I am a HUGE supporter for not drinking and driving, and if alcohol was the reason, it is sad, and it is wrong, but I know, as a HUMAN……we all make MISTAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get over your PERFECT selves and have a soul you heartless JERKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Mandy says:

    ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????? No Matter WHAT the reason behind the accident, two people…MY FRIENDS, someone’s daughter and son DIED!!!!!!! I can’t BELIEVE you have the disrespect to post something SO RUDE and sarcastic as “I like Turtles” or “I hope no fish were hurt” YOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED!!!!!!!!!! I’m sure all you people going on and on about this have NEVER EVER made a mistake or done something wrong in your life before!!! PERFECT IS WHAT YOU ARE RIGHT!!???? I am a HUGE supporter for not drinking and driving, and if alcohol was the reason, it is sad, and it is wrong, but I know, as a HUMAN……we all make MISTAKES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Get over your PERFECT selves and have a soul you heartless JERKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  38. RL, Alex says:

    Nearly a week later, and this community of Alexandria is still grieving over the loss of these two young people. Please fellow readers, out of common courtesy, and plain respect, limit your comments to well wishes to the friends and family. Talk to your friends in private if you want to express your disagreeing opinions. Yes, it is a free country and we all have the freedom of speach, but sometimes doing the right thing is the way to go.

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