Investigation continues into BRP boat-test crash

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The investigation of a BRP boat trial that resulted in two deaths and was expected to be wrapped up early this week will not conclude until next week, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

“My investigator says Bombardier is going to send down a couple of engineers from Canada next, and they’re going to go over the boats another time before issuing the report, said Jerry Hiller, the Region Five captain with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Members of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also want to review the evidence, Hiller said.

“They want to look at the boats and go over some stuff,” Hiller said. “Hopefully by next week we will have this thing wrapped up. We still have the two boats at the compound, and one thing about my investigator is he is going to want to get the report done as soon as possible.”

Two people were killed and three injured after the two-boat crash during a BRP trial last week on Rend Lake in Benton, Ill.

Instead of crossing, a boat carrying one passenger struck a second boat with two passengers, and the first boat ran aground at top speed, local officials told Soundings Trade Only. Both occupants of that boat were killed. The other three sustained non-life-threatening injuries, according to BRP.

The operator of the boat that ran aground, Larry Smithhart, was employed at BRP’s Palm Bay, Fla., facility. Teresa Camargo, who worked at BRP supplier Milsco Mexico, was also killed, according to BRP.

Both boats were operated by BRP employees; the passengers were employees from Milsco Manufacturing Co.’s Mexico location, according to Hiller and BRP.

Another Milsco employee was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The other two involved sustained minor injuries and were not hospitalized.

— Reagan Haynes

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