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One dead, two injured in boat crash on popular Seattle lake

By Victoria Cavaliere

SEATTLE (Reuters) - One person was killed when a power boat slammed into a sailboat on a popular Seattle lake, scattering debris over a wide stretch of water, and the motorboat owner was facing criminal charges in the matter, police said on Thursday.

Two other people were seriously injured in the Wednesday night accident in which the motorboat, carrying four people, hit the sailboat with seven people on board, sending several passengers tumbling into the water, investigators said.

One of the people thrown from the sailboat, a 24-year-old woman, was killed, said Seattle Police Spokesman Drew Fowler. Two other people rescued from the water were hospitalized in serious but stable condition.

The driver of the motorboat, a 46-year-old man from the Seattle suburb of Renton, was arrested and facing formal charges of death by motorcraft in connection with the accident on Lake Washington, adjacent to Seattle.

Police took blood samples from the operators of both boats amid suspicion that alcohol played a role in the crash, Fowler said, adding that more charges might be leveled as the investigation continues.

Witnesses said the motorboat was moving at a high rate of speed when it struck the sailboat, police said. Debris from the collision was spotted up to a half-mile from the crash site.

"We were asleep on our roof and we heard a loud bang and we heard people crying for help, and then many, many sirens," resident Betsy Hale told local media.

Both boats were badly damaged but investigators kept the crafts afloat because they were integral to the investigation, Fowler said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Andrew Hay)

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