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MN Man Dead, 2 Missing After Boats Crash On Wis. River

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LAKE HALLIE, Wis. (WCCO) — Search crews will be back Sunday on the Chippewa River, near Lake Hallie, Wis., to look for two Minnesota men who went missing after two boats collided.

In all, two were killed, two are missing, three were sent to the hospital, and one was arrested.

The missing have been identified as 25-year-old Luke Pohl and 28-year-old Matthew Simonson. Both are from Minnesota.

The two others, 27-year-old Matthew Overhauser, of Minnesota, and 50-yr-old Mark Michels, of Eau Claire, Wis., were killed.

“Search crews are working hard. We’ll be here until we find their loved ones,” said Robert Borseth, the deputy chief of the Chippewa Fire Dept.

Borseth said around 9:45 p.m. Friday a Princecraft boat, which is similar to a pontoon, was carrying six members of a wedding party and crashed into a smaller boat carrying a man and woman.

The impact sent the smaller speed boat into shore. The driver, Mark Michels was killed. The passenger, Carol Oller, was taken to the hospital.

Five people on the Princecraft were thrown into the water. Leo Pohl, Greg Voight, and Robert Romanshek made it ashore. Romanshek was later arrested after taking a breathalyzer test. Search crews found that boat a half mile down river, and Overhauser was found dead in it.

Chippewa County Undersheriff Eugene Gutsch said the group on the Princecraft were preparing to celebrate a wedding set to take place Saturday.

“It’s very difficult for everyone involved. The family is doing as best they can,” Borseth said.

Authorities are still investigating how the crash happened. No one was wearing life jackets.

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