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Published: Monday, 5/26/2008

3 die as boat hits barge in Michigan


MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. - A 38-foot power boat carrying five people crashed into a 120-foot barge in Belvidere Bay just off of Lake St. Clair, killing three passengers on the boat, authorities said.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel said yesterday the crash happened shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday.

The barge had lights on it, Sheriff Hackel said.

He said two passengers died shortly after the crash and a third died yesterday morning at a hospital.

The department identified those killed as a man and two women: Joseph Lee Hamilton, 42, of Bloomfield Hills; Sawson Bell, 36, of Pontiac, and Kathleen O'Neill, 39, of Harrison Township.

Sheriff Hackel said the two others on the boat were injured, including owner and operator Brian James Lepp, 38, of Troy. He said Mr. Lepp and Robert William Diegel, 39, of Macomb Township, were hospitalized in stable condition.

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