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One killed, two hurt in boat race crash

August 25, 1997

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) _ Three racing boats collided on a lake in a city park, killing one driver and injuring the other two.

The impact threw all three drivers into the water at Eastwood Lake.

The accident happened early in a speedboat race Saturday at the annual Dayton Record Runs Races.

The collision occurred about 6 p.m. when one boat veered into the path of another, said Ed Hearns, chief race referee. A third boat that was following couldn’t avoid the accident.

At least one of the boats flipped, and the driver who died sustained head injuries, said Lt. Robert Makley of the Five Rivers Metro Parks system. The Montgomery County coroner’s office on Sunday identified the dead driver as Richard Engler, 56, of Glendale, Wis.

Engler was pronounced dead at Grandview Hospital.

One of the injured drivers, Jeff Williams, 47, of Ford City, Pa., was held overnight for observation and released on Sunday, said hospital spokesman Chuck Large.

Other details about the crash were not immediately available. The identity of the third driver was not available because he apparently refused treatment at the scene. A telephone message left for park officials on Sunday, the last day of competition, was not returned.

The one-person speedboats are 6 to 7 feet long and reach speeds of more than 60 mph.

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