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FL: Fishers dead after boat crash

Fla. man dead in boating accident

Associated Press - January 2, 2009 4:24 AM ET

WEWAHITCHKA, Fla. (AP) - A Panama City man is dead after a New Year's Eve boat crash in the Florida Panhandle.

Claude Hutchinson, 64, died after the boat he was driving struck a tree in the Brothers River around sunset Wednesday. Hutchinson and Dennis Becker, 36, were both thrown from the boat and into the river. The men had been fishing.

Lt. Stan Kirkland, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, says Becker was not seriously injured. Authorities were alerted to the crash by two boys who had been hunting in the area and heard the accident happen. Kirkland says neither man was wearing a life jacket and alcohol is not believed to have been a factor in the crash.

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