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Boat crash

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks responds to the scene after two boats capsized in the Upper Holter Reservoir Sunday.

One person died and five were injured as two boats capsized in the Upper Holter Lake area Sunday, according to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office Capt. Alan Hughes.

"One boat capsized and then the other boat came back to help them and then also capsized," Hughes said.

It is unclear why the boats capsized, but Hughes said he doesn't believe they collided with each other. 

Five people were taken to St. Peter's Health and a male died at the scene. 

Hughes said the coroner's office will determine the exact cause of death, and an investigation will be carried out by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.  

Hughes couldn't say for certain but suspected the wreck may have been weather-related. The area was under a National Weather Service advisory, and temperatures hovered around 32 degrees in Helena.

While it was initially reported that a third boat was involved, Hughes said, officials learned that only two of the boats had capsized. The third boat was in the same party as the two boats that capsized, but left earlier than the rest of the group and became stranded. 

Hughes said it was his impression that the occupants of the boats were on the lake to fish. 

Officials are waiting for calmer weather to attempt to retrieve the capsized boats, he said. 

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office, its wet team, Montana Highway Patrol, West Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Lewis and Clark Search and Rescue, emergency medical technicians and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks all responded to the Gates of the Mountains boat launch to assist.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to correct some details that were provided in initial reports.

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