Searchers in the water on Sunday afternoon found the body of the final person who had been on board a boat that crashed the previous evening, killing two people and injuring five others along the Mississippi River separating southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, authorities said.
The incident occurred about 6:15 p.m. Saturday and involved a 32-foot, 10-passenger pleasure craft with seven people aboard, according to the Houston County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota.
The boat, traveling south, struck a concrete navigational marker in the river’s main channel. The boat’s stern sank and its bow went vertical after the crash, authorities said.
The required number of personal flotation devices were on board but not in use, they said.
Diana Lynn Klankowski, 56, of Spring Grove, Minn., was brought to shore by a private craft. She was pronounced dead at 6:34 p.m., said the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin.
On Sunday at 4:27 p.m., searchers found the body of the seventh boater, identified by Wisconsin authorities as Kevin Lee Hanson, 47, of Mabel, Minn.
Earlier, Robert Alf Klankowski, 52, and Tracy Lynn Peterson, 50, both of Spring Grove, were taken to the hospital. Gerald Wayne Ladsten, 57, also of Spring Grove, was taken to the hospital and later released. Also hospitalized were an adult male and a female whose names were not released Sunday.
The crash occurred across from the Wildcat Park and Marina, just south of Brownsville, Minn., on the Wisconsin side of the river.
Jim Mauer told WXOW-TV in La Crosse, Wis., that he saw the boat collide with a concrete pylon marking the river channel. Mauer said he jumped in a nearby boat and pulled three injured people from the water.
More than a dozen agencies assisted in the search for the missing boater.
“Please keep your thoughts and prayers with the families of these victims,” Houston County Sheriff Mark Inglett said.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482