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4 killed in boating accident upstate

RED HOOK -- A powerboat struck concrete footing on the Hudson River upstate and sank before sunrise Sunday, killing four occupants and seriously injuring two others, authorities said.

Six people were aboard the 19-foot boat when it rammed into concrete footing not far from the shoreline near Red Hook, about 45 miles south of Albany, according to Lt. John Watterson of the Dutchess County sheriff's office. The boat was seriously damaged and began to sink in the shallow water.

The body of John J. Uvino, 26, of Saugerties was found in the water, and it appeared he was thrown from the boat on impact, Watterson said. Divers recovered the bodies of three other boaters: Robert P. Macarthur, 27, of Kingston; Deena C. Cordero, 26, of Kingston; and Jay J. Bins, 41, of Kingston.

Two boaters, Joseph J. Vehnick, 23, of Kingston and Jessica K. Hotaling, 27, of Hyde Park, made it to shore and Vehnick was able to call 911 despite serious injuries. Both suffered multiple fractures and were being treated at area hospitals.

It wasn't immediately clear where the boat was coming from or headed and who was driving, Watterson said. The medical examiner was conducting autopsies to determine the cause of death, he said.

Authorities found beer bottles inside the boat and believe the occupants might have been drinking, Watterson said. The boat's bow and underside were heavily damaged, leading authorities to believe the driver had been speeding.

The boat was pulled from the water and brought to an impound lot.

Emergency services responded to the scene just before 6:30 a.m., but based on information from survivors, investigators believe the crash occurred around 4:30 a.m., while it was still dark, Watterson said.

Part of the boat was still sticking out of the water when rescuers arrived. Its bow had smashed into the concrete, which may have been part of a dock or other shoreline structure there previously. It was unclear if it was marked by a buoy, Watterson said.

The powerboat, which has a single deck with no quarters below, is known as a bow rider because its passengers generally ride up front while the driver sits behind them.

The boat was registered to Arthur Fiore in Kingston, who couldn't be reached for comment last night.-- AP

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