Jet Boat Races
by Justyna Tomtas
One person is dead and three injured after separates crashes on Snake River circuit
One person is dead after two boats crashed in separate incidents during the Thunder on the Snake jet boat races Saturday.
Three racers were treated for non-life-threatening injuries, while the fourth person involved died at the scene, according to a news release from the Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office.
The names of the individuals are not being released at this time.
Law enforcement received a call about an accident just before 10 a.m. Saturday. Early reports indicate one of the boats may have hit a rock, likely near the Billy Creek area, according to race officials.
Racers left Hells Gate Marina at 9:15 a.m. for the first part of a two-leg trip to Bear Bar. They were scheduled to make their return trip from Bear Bar to Hells Gate Marina at 11:45 a.m.
After the first boaters began to pull back into the marina, two law enforcement boats with their lights flashing continued south up the Snake River.
Multiple participants in the race declined to speak with the Tribune.
At about 1 p.m., race officials provided drivers and navigators with an update. The remaining races scheduled for Saturday afternoon and today were canceled.
Nez Perce County’s Marine unit, Asotin County Marine 61, Asotin County Sheriff’s Office, Lewiston medics, Life Flight and race safety boats all responded to the scene.
Race referee Jim Fuller said officials with the event are investigating the accident.
"If anyone has information and could contact me that would be very beneficial," Fuller said.
Race officials can be contacted at (208) 305-9530.
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