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Third missing victim of Colorado River boat crash identified

Los Angeles Times logo Los Angeles Times 9/5/2018 Alejandra Reyes-Velarde

Authorities recovered two bodies Tuesday after a head-on boat crash three days earlier that left 16 people without life vests in the fast-moving Colorado River, raising the death toll to three as one person remains missing.

The body of Brian Grabowski, 50, was found around 9 a.m., and the body of Kirra Drury, 24, around 12:35 p.m., according to Facebook posts by the Mohave County Sheriff's Office in Arizona. Grabowski was from Tulare, Calif., and Drury lived in Ventura.

A day earlier, the search team found and identified the body of Christine Lewis, 51, of Visalia, Calif. One boater is still missing after the the collision Saturday that caused a Hallet and a Sleekcraft boat to sink north of Lake Havasu near Moabi Regional Park.

"The Mohave County Sheriff's Office will continue to patrol the Colorado River until all the unaccounted for passengers are located," the Sheriff's Office said.

Several boat passengers were pulled from the water by other boaters. One critically injured woman was airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital, officials said, and nine others went by ambulance to area hospitals.

The boats collided head-on while traveling about 50 mph, according to an emergency dispatcher whose report was broadcast on local TV stations.

On Monday, Anita Mortensen, a sheriff's spokeswoman, said that investigators had not determined what role speed might have played in the accident.

"We haven't come up with anything on contributing factors yet," she said, adding that efforts are focused on finding the missing boaters. "Once they are located, then we can continue pursuing that information."

The river was jammed with Labor Day weekend visitors at the time of the crash. The people aboard the boats were friends and family. No one was wearing a life jacket.

"It is not mandated that they do, though we encourage it," Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster said Sunday.

Times staff writers Alene Tchekmedyian, Esmeralda Bermudez and Kim Christensen contributed to this report.

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