Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Late Monday afternoon, crews recovered the body of the third victim in a late-night boating accident on the Minnesota River continues.
It happened near the I-35W bridge just before 11:00 p.m. Sunday. A witness who was fishing tells investigators that he saw the boat go under the bridge and then accelerate to a high speed. He says a few minutes later he heard a loud crash. That is when the boat hit a Barge. The witness went to see what happened and says the boat's front end was stuck under the barge and the motor was still running, but sticking out of the water. The strong current eventually pulled the boat under water. It was recovered just after 11:00 a.m. Monday. Melissa Rae Burns, 25, and Thomas John Schwake, 24, both of Bloomington were both found dead. Investigators recovered the body of Michael James Rimnac, 30, and also of Bloomington just before 6:00 p.m. on Monday. The witness and another fisherman were able to help recover the first two bodies. None of the victims were wearing life-vests. The two witnesses are identified as Anthony Voight, 26 of Prior Lake and Andrew Wolfram, 28 and also of Prior Lake. Dakota County Sheriff Don Gudmundson is praising the two for their efforts. "They did everything they could to save the lives of the victims and they worked in a calm and purposeful manner," said Gudmundson. The investigation into the cause of the crash continues, but investigators say alcohol was probably a factor.