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Boy in critical condition after boating accident

William Huisinga

Eight-year-old William Huisinga was listed in critical condition Monday night at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he was airlifted following the accident on Big Kandiyohi Lake.

Huisinga was struck by a pontoon as he was knee-boarding with his family on the south shore of the lake.

According to a Caringbridge website set up on his behalf, Huisinga suffered massive injuries to his face, and the posting said most of the bones in his face had been broken. His left eye was also seriously injured.

He was reportedly undergoing surgery Monday and is expected to remain in the hospital for several weeks.

A picture of Huisinga on the Caringbridge site, which is a nonprofit organization that allows people with serious medical conditions to post web updates, shows a bright-eyed blond boy with a broad smile and wearing a dress shirt and tie.

While thanking God that the little boy was alive and thanking people for their support, a family member who wrote on the Caringbridge site indicated Huisinga would need reconstructive surgery on his face.

According to a news release from the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office, Huisinga was on a knee board and was being pulled out into the lake behind a fishing boat that was driven by his father, Nicholas Huisinga, 33, from Willmar.

A 2009 Sylvan pontoon, driven by Marilyn Almen, 75, of Minnetonka, that was coming from the west veered to avoid the fishing boat. The pontoon then struck Huisinga.

Alcohol was not a factor in the accident, according to the Sheriff's Office.

A fund has been set up to help the Huisinga family. Online contributions can be made at: www.give