The Associated Press
HELENA, Mont. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg and four other people were hospitalized in stable condition Friday after their 22-foot boat ran into rocks in the dark.
"It was a pretty serious accident near Wayfarers state park," Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Tom Palmer said.
The department said three people were flown to the hospital by helicopter after the accident sometime before midnight Thursday, but did not know if that included Rehberg. The others were taken by ambulance. All five, including state Sen. Greg Barkus, were in stable condition.
The park was closed Friday while investigators worked the crash scene.
Hospital President Velinda Stevens said she couldn't say anything else about the incident and referred questions to Rehberg's office, which said it was working on getting details before commenting.
Rehberg had been scheduled to hold town hall meetings in Cut Bank and Shelbyon Friday. Both were canceled.
Palmer said campers at the park heard the wreck, and the Bigfork Fire Department was immediately called to help. He said the state's top boat crash experts were on the scene, with his department has taken the lead in the investigation.
"Typically what they will look into is the condition of the boat and try to determine the following: the speed at impact, who was driving, whether or not they had the proper number of life jackets on board - which would have been five - determine if they were wearing any, and determine who was driving, " Palmer said. "Whether or not alcohol or drugs is involved is a routine part of such investigations."