Officials suspect alcohol may have been a contributing factor in a fatal pre-dawn boating accident Monday on Sherman County Reservoir near Loup City, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. The investigation is ongoing.
The Sherman County Sheriff pronounced 34-year-old Bennie "Ben" Wright dead at the scene. Wright was the owner of the Marina at Sherman Reservoir.
The 27-foot Sea Ray boat with twin engines reportedly struck the face of the dam. Officials say it appears the vessel was traveling at a high rate of speed as it traveled up the dam and came to rest on its top.
Officals say there were three passengers on the boat: Richard Woznick, 24; Kayla Palu, 20; and Andrea Carkoski, 18. Officials say all three were transported to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and treated for minor injuries. A hospital spokeswoman said all three were treated and released. All parties involved were from the Loup City area.