ARMSTRONG COUNTY (AP/KDKA) — A wrecked boat was found flipped over after it crashed on the shoreline of the Allegheny River in Clarion County

It happened around 1 a.m. in an area of the river known for camping and boating near East Brady. Three of the four passengers were killed.

“I just commented the other day to some people on the river, we’ve never had a fatality on this section of the river than this happens,” said Greg Pochran, Waterways Conservation Officer.

The cause of the crash is unknown. The victims were reported missing when they failed to return at the campsite.

“They left the camp late last night in the boat when they didn’t return one person’s wife went looking for them in the morning and found the boat upside down, she called 911,” Pochran said.

The crash happened directly under tails maintained by the Armstrong Rails To Trails Association. Three of the victims died after they were trapped under the boat for six hours. A fourth passenger survived.

According to ExploreClarion, the people killed have been identified as:

  • Timothy Jones, 62, of Tarentum
  • Joe Wrbas, 48, of Butler
  • Chad Wilson, 34, of Prospect

People at the campsite just across the river were clearly shaken by the deaths. Unlike boating in urban areas, there’s not much lighting when it gets dark. Pochran has this advice for boaters in those areas.

“Slow down at night your vision is impaired, you cant see the shoreline obviously you cant tell where obstacles in the water. Go slow at night,” he said.

Authorities are waiting for toxicology results to determine if alcohol was involved. The Clarion County coroner will conduct autopsies on Monday.

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