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Two killed in Huntington Harbour boating accident

June 27, 2009 |  6:18 pm

Two men were killed and another seriously injured early this morning when an inflatable boat crashed into a bridge in Huntington Harbour, an upscale community in coastal Orange County, authorities said.

Caleb Steele, 30, and Shawn Wilson, 35, both of Huntington Beach, were killed about 1 a.m. when the 12-foot Zodiac-style boat hit the Gilbert Drive Bridge over Shelter Channel at high speed. Witnesses said the boat was turning in tight circles or "doughnuts" shortly before impact.

Authorities recovered both bodies from the water by 9 a.m. A third man, the 37-year-old driver of the boat, managed to swim to shore and was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center with serious head injuries. His name was not released.

Orange County sheriff’s deputies said they are investigating whether alcohol played a role in the crash. The boat was impounded as part of the investigation. No arrests were made.

--Dan Weikel