KANAB, Utah — A Utah man driving a motorboat on Lake Powell was apparently distracted by his young passengers when he hit a houseboat and flipped the craft, leaving his wife dead and his daughter and his son's girlfriend missing, deputies said.
Adrian Jackman, 59, of South Jordan, apparently tried to swerve when he noticed the moving houseboat but hit the front corner, authorities said.
The accident about 8 a.m. Thursday killed his wife, Marilyn Jackman, 57. His daughter, Jessica Jackman, 22, and his son's girlfriend, Valerie Rae Bradshaw, 29, of Sandy, Utah, are missing in the water.
Crews brought a robot equipped with a camera to search for the missing women Friday in the 400-foot-deep water near Dangling Rope Marina. But they ran into technical problems and had to call off the effort, according to Denise Shultz, spokeswoman for the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area that encompasses Lake Powell.
She said the Utah Highway Patrol has been asked to bring in equipment from the Salt Lake City area, and the search is expected to resume Saturday.
Most of the people aboard the motorboat, which was carrying 13 passengers, were family members from northern Utah, deputies said. Nobody on the houseboat was injured.
It's not uncommon for boaters to venture out early in the morning while the waters of Lake Powell are smooth, said Kane County sheriff's Sgt. Alan Alldredge. The vast man-made lake, bordered by sandstone walls and colorful rock formations, is a popular destination for houseboat vacations.
Deputies said the group was headed to Rainbow Bridge — touted as the largest known natural bridge in the world — when the crash happened. Crews had to rescue some victims from the water, Shultz said.
All of the six children aboard were wearing life jackets, officials said. Adrian Jackman and his 11-year-old granddaughter were airlifted to a hospital in Flagstaff, Ariz., while a third person was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
The three were released later Thursday.