staff and news service reports
updated 7/25/2011 12:34:25 PM ET 2011-07-25T16:34:25

A joyous weekend took a horrifying turn when family and friends learned that three groomsmen — including the brother of the groom-to-be — were among four people killed in a boat crash, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.

The bodies of the groom's 25-year-old brother, Luke Pohl, and groomsman Matthew Simonson, 28, were discovered about a mile downriver from the accident, according to reports.

Another groomsman, 28-year-old Matthew Overhulser, was found dead in the boat.

The three men were passengers on an open-deck boat that reportedly departed following the rehearsal dinner on Friday. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the father of the bride, the groom, his brother and three groomsmen were aboard at the time of the accident.

The open-deck boat collided with a speedboat just before 10 p.m. that evening. According to reports, both boats were traveling faster than 20 miles per hour, and none of the passengers were wearing a life jacket.

Five of the six passengers in the wedding party's boat were reportedly thrown from the vessel.

The groom, Leo Pohl, the father of the bride, and another passenger reportedly swam to shore following the collision. They were later treated at a local hospital and released.

The speedboat had two people aboard at the time of the crash. Mark Michels, 50, the driver, was killed upon impact, but his passenger, Carol Oller, 49, survived, and is reportedly in stable condition at a local hospital.

The father of the bride, Robert Romanshek, 56, was arrested after the crash, but was later released. According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, there are no charges pending.

"We are not commenting to anyone - it's too hard," Jeannine Stripling, the Pohl brothers' half-sister, told the Pioneer Press.

"It was supposed to be my little brother's wedding. That's all I'm going to say."

Chippewa County Undersheriff Eugene Gutsch told the Associated Press that the collision happened near a heavily trafficked recreation area, which includes bars.

According to Gutsch, the speedboat had been at a bar, but officials were unsure where the wedding party was coming from.

To the best of his knowledge, the wedding didn't happen, the undersheriff told the AP.

The Associated Press, the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune contributed to this report.


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