WILLIS, Oklahoma – Investigators plan to reconstruct two speedboats that collided on Lake Texoma to gather clues about the crash that left five people dead and one injured, authorities said Sunday.
The boats collided Saturday during the "Highroller Poker Run," in which participants get a playing card at five different stops and win if they have the best poker hand at the end, said Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper Kera Philippi.
One of the victims, Gordon Mineo, had organized the poker run.
"They're going to investigate the mechanics of both boats, too, and not just focus on whether it was driver error," Philippi said. "The driver of the second boat is still alive, so they're going to want to talk to him."
Bruce Gibson, 54, of Old Hickory, Tennessee, was in fair condition Sunday at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Investigators believe one boat slammed into the side of the other, but it was too early to tell exactly what happened. Only pieces were left of one boat. The rear of another yellow, twin-hull jet boat with purple trim was partially submerged and the left side of the bottom was ripped out.
Philippi said it was too early to tell if speed or alcohol played a role in the crash. She said both boats were participating in the poker run, but "it is not supposed to be a race where speed is a factor," she said. "It's not supposed to be a race. The last person to gather the cards can still win the tournament."
Vacationers remained at the shore of the massive lake, which is Oklahoma's second-largest body of water and straddles the Oklahoma-Texas line.
The victims were Gibson's wife, Myra L. Gibson, 51; Ann Mineo, 59, and Gordon Mineo, 61, of Rockwall, Texas; Amy Dawn Lane, 31, and Justin R. Lane, 25, of Little Elm, Texas. Police earlier reported that Myra Gibson had been flown to a hospital. She died at the scene.
Gordon Mineo was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
He was driving a 2001 Eliminater, a 36-foot, offshore race boat nicknamed "Flash Gordon," the OHP reported.
Through his Web site, www.flashgordonproductions.com, Gordon Mineo offered rides on the "Flash Gordon" — a nickname Mineo coined years earlier while racing dragsters. The site includes a list of regulations for riders such as no drinks of any kind, no smoking and the required use of a personal floatation device.
It also details how Mineo managed to put two helicopter turbine engines into the boat, giving it a top speed of more than 165 mph.
From the 1960s until the 1990s, Mineo raced dragsters, National Hot Rod Association spokesman Anthony Vestal said. Though he never won an NHRA national event, Vestal said Mineo he had several runner-up finishes in the 1990s.