Two Women Die When Pontoon Strikes Barge

Two women from Hannibal, Mo., died August 3 near the Mark Twain Bridge when the motorized pontoon they were on broke loose and was carried by strong current into a moored barge, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

A spokesman for the Illinois DNR told The Waterways Journal that the pontoon’s propeller hit a tow rope, causing its motor to fail and the pontoon to drift into the moored barge.

All seven occupants of the pontoon were ejected by the impact. Six were rescued, and one of the six later died. The other victim’s body was recovered a day later.

The two women who died were identified as Kimberly Jameson, 49, of Center, Mo., who died at the scene, and Barbara Ann Young, 42, of Hannibal.

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The Illinois DNR said it is continuing to investigate and that a full report could take “a while.”