Monday, July 25, 2022

Fatal accident occurred July 22, 2022 at Jeremiah Denton Airport (4R9), Dauphin Island, Alabama


DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama (WKRG) — It’s a tragedy people don’t want to see happen again. 22-year-old Quinton Zirlott was killed after a boat he was riding in crashed into the runway at the airport on Dauphin Island late Friday night. Four others were hurt. Boaters said something needs to be done to make the runway safer for boat traffic.

From the land, and in the middle of a sunny day the runway at Jeremiah Denton Airport is easy to spot–but boaters said after dark it’s a potentially deadly hazard. Officials said it’s something that should be looked at.

Jeff Collier, mayor: “Is there something more that can be done that would keep a similar occurrence from happening I think that’s the focus here,” said Mayor Jeff Collier. A friend of the young man who was killed started an online petition calling for changes to make the airport easier for boaters to see after dark. It garnered more than 3,000 signatures in less than 24 hours. The organizer of the petition argued if the runway was well lit at night for boaters tragedies like this could be avoided.

“It brings attention to the fact that there’s a runway there and it’s been there for a number of years, and if there’s anything we can do to prevent such tragic incidents from occurring we need to look at that,” said Collier. I talked to homeowners who live near the runway on De Soto Avenue–they said changes need to be made and boat crashes at the runway are far too common. Others agree.

“I think they should put some sort of a blinker or flasher there something to let people know there’s something out there. I don’t see the harm of putting a blinker just so people can see something’s there,” said Wendy McCain at the marina bait shop. The airport is owned by Mobile County not the island. A county spokesperson told News 5 that “the Dauphin Island Airport Manager and Mobile County officials will talk to FAA and Coast Guard to see if changes are warranted or possible and if so they’ll move forward accordingly.”

Law enforcement officials confirmed that one person was killed and four others injured after a boat crashed into an airport runway late Friday night.

Dauphin Island Mayor Jeff Collier told that a pleasure boat with five people aboard struck the runway of the small beach community’s Jeremiah Denton Airport at a spot where it juts into the water.

At 5:30 p.m. Saturday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency identified the deceased as Quinton Zirlott, 22, of Theodore. The other passengers were all transported to local hospitals.

The release stated that the crash occurred at 11:30 p.m. Friday, and that Quinton Zirlott was a passenger in the boat and was ejected when the boat struck a concrete barrier.

The boat operator, Robert Zirlott, 23, was injured and transported to Springhill Hospital. Three other passengers, all aged 23, were injured and transported to USA Medical Center.

The Dauphin Island Police Department and Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are investigating the incident.

DAUPHIN ISLAND, Alabama (WKRG) — A boat crash in Mobile Bay late Friday night at Jeremiah Denton Airport in Dauphin Island resulted in one person dead and four others “injured” and transported to the hospital, according to a release from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

According to the release and officials with ALEA, at around 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 22, a boat “struck a concrete barrier,” which is at the base of the runway that extends into the water. The crash ejected passenger Quinton E. Zirlott, 22, from the boat resulting in his death. The driver, Robert C. Zirlott, 23, was transported to Springhill Medical Center for injuries. Three other passengers in the boat were transported to USA Medical Center and treated for injuries.

Man shot by ex’s current boyfriend according to Mobile Police Bransen J. Lee, 23, Chase R. Stork, 23, and Linda E. Kincey, 23, were three passengers transported to USA Medical Center.

No other information or details are available at this time as troopers with ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division investigate. This is an ongoing investigation.

A petition has been made on in an effort to “raise awareness and try to fix the issue of the Dauphin Island Runway being invisible at night and to hopefully avoid boat wrecks while maintaining a safe runway view for landing aircraft,” according to the petition.

The petition currently has over 2,500 signatures in just under 12 hours.


  1. A string of low voltage LED landscape lighting could mark the shore, but foolish night time running at speed in a boat without being familiar with the local area is the root problem. Same situation as hitting long docks at night in unfamiliar areas, particularly when Jack Daniels or Captain Morgan is aboard.


  2. as to "petition" from locals, @ "Jeremiah Denton Airport, Dauphin Island, Alabama – $1,350,000 for phase I of a project to construct, extend, and improve a safety area and Jeremiah Denton Airport, Dauphin Island, Alabama – $450,000 for phase II of a project to construct, extend, and improve a safety area"