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12 People Injured In Boating Accident On Cheat Lake

CHEAT LAKE, W.Va. (KDKA/AP) -- Authorities say a boating accident on Cheat Lake in West Virginia left several people injured over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Investigators don't know what caused the ski boat to crash Monday night at Cheat Lake. It happened just before 9 p.m.

Cheat Lake Volunteer Fire Department chief Jason Christopher says the open bow boat ran into an embankment and trees.

Barry Frey, who owns the local marina, helped with the rescue. He says they were a group of friends who'd been enjoying the Memorial Day holiday at the lake.

"The owner of the boat, I think, was a freshman in college. They were all acquainted, all friends," said Frey.

Twelve people were on board the boat when it crashed.

Three people were critically injured while two suffered severe injuries. Seven others on the boat suffered moderate to minor injuries. All of the victims were taken to local hospitals.

"There seemed to be some fairly serious injuries," Frey said.

At least three of the 12 were taken away by medical helicopter.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources Capt. Bill Persinger says investigators haven't determined whether anyone else was on the boat when the accident occurred.

Persinger says the 23-foot boat was heavily damaged.

The DNR is investigating the accident. Persinger says the cause hasn't been determined.

Investigators will interview the people who were on the boat to try to determine what happened. They say they expect this to be a long investigation.

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