POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — One person was killed and two more were injured Sunday in a crash during a powerboat race along the Jersey Shore.
The accident occurred shortly after 1 p.m. Sunday during a small boat preliminary event in the Point Pleasant Beach Grand Prix. The scene was in the water near Bay Head.
Around turn one on the first lap of seven during the first race, a boat called The Smith Brothers was airborne when it came down on another boat, called the Repeat Offender. David Raabe of Forked River, throttle man on the Repeat Offender, was killed, Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Stephen Reid told CBS2.
The driver of the Repeat Offender, identified late Sunday as James Byrne of Nutley, was left in critical condition, Reid said. He was transported to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune City.
Raabe and Byrne were both struck by the hull of The Smith Brothers as it passed over them, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s office. Both men were wearing helmets.
The Smith Brothers sank, Reid said. The two men on The Smith Brothers — driver Peter Smith of Riverton, New his brother, throttleman Richard Smith of Souderton, Pennsylvania, were not injured. But they were taken to Ocean Care Center, where they both consented to providing blood samples, authorities said.
Reid believes weather was the cause of the accident.
“I just think it was the weather. Basically, well, this is powerboat racing, so they were going very fast,” Reid said. “I believe one of the boats was in the air, and then when, it came down it landed on the second boat.”
About 40 boats competed in the race, which was canceled after the collision. Thousands came to the boardwalk to watch the race, CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
“It was a great day and thousands of people were here to witness a lot of fun, and it ended very sadly,” Mayor Reid said.
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)