Officials release identities of women killed in Lake Winnebago boat crash

One of the boats involved in the crash was recovered. (WLUK/Chris Schattl)

TOWN OF VINLAND (WLUK) -- Authorities say the two women who died in a boat crash on Lake Winnebago over the weekend are 26-year-old Lauren Laabs and 20-year-old Cassandra Laabs, both of the Neenah area.

The crash happened Saturday night about a mile east of Paynes Point.

Officials say a 26-foot boat collided with a 20-foot boat.

Lauren, Cassandra and a pet dog were ejected from the 20-foot boat.

The 20-foot boat carrying Cassandra and Lauren Laabs was headed west on Lake Winnebago when it crashed with a 26-foot boat headed north.

“Both the operators of the vehicle say they didn't see the other boat. Why I’m not sure,” said Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz "It's kind of a mystery at this point."

Rescuers spent Sunday searching for the women's bodies. They found both underwater Sunday night.

FOX 11 asked the sheriff if any of the boaters involved were wearing life jackets, “I don't believe any of them were, and obviously the two victims were not."

Sheriff Matz calls the crash a tragedy

“The damage that you see may not look substantial, but it takes a lot to damage a boat that much,” said Sheriff Matz.

Lidya Trusov lives on Lake Winnebago. She saw two boaters being brought back to shore--

“Mom was in really bad shape, dad, he just didn’t want to leave the lake,” said Trusov.

She says this is an eye opener for her family.

“From here on out, I told my kids life jackets on the boat and speed is really going to be taken into consideration,” said Trusov.

Investigators are still determining if speed or alcohol were a factor.

Two others from the 20-foot boat were taken to the hospital and two people on the 26-foot boat were treated on shore.

Authorities also recovered the body of the dog.

Autopsies are being performed on the women Monday morning.

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