Blood test shows driver in boat crash under legal limit

Diagram of collision included in incident report.

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - UPDATE, 9/17 at 12:55 p.m.

Results of a blood test taken after a fatal boat crash on Lake Winnebago show one of the operators was under the legal limit to operate in Wisconsin.

An attorney for Kim F. Laabs released the results of the report to Action 2 News after a preliminary investigation indicated alcohol was a contributing factor in the Aug. 18 crash that killed Cassie and Lauren Laabs.

Kim F. Laabs had a 0.026 blood alcohol concentration when the test was taken about 2.5 hours after the crash, reads the report from the Wisconsin Laboratory of Hygiene. The legal limit to operate in Wisconsin is .08.

"Mr. Laabs had a blood alcohol content three times below the legal limit of .08," reads a statement from the attorney for Kim Laabs. "This conclusively establishes that he was neither intoxicated nor impaired at the time of the accident."

The crash happened at 8:38 p.m Laabs' blood was drawn at 11:06 p.m.

Action 2 News has reached out to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office to find out if the test took into account the loss of time. The department says it cannot answer those questions because the crash remains an open investigation.

A preliminary boat incident investigation report obtained by Action 2 News listed contributing factors in the crash as "alcohol use" and "navigation rules violation."

The investigation shows that the Laabs's boat was traveling west on Lake Winnebago and a second boat was traveling north.

"According to both operators, neither saw the other vessel," reads the incident report.

The report states the front side of the Laabs's boat hit the center starboard side of the second boat.

Lauren Laabs, 26, and Cassie Laabs, 20, were ejected from the boat and found dead. A family dog also died.

The Laabs's boat, which was carrying a driver and three passengers, was traveling 10-20 mph. The second boat, which was carrying a driver and passenger, was traveling 21-40 mph.

No one on either boat was wearing a personal flotation device at the time of the crash, according to the preliminary incident report.

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ORIGINAL STORY, 9/13 AT 10:58 a.m.

Alcohol use was listed as a contributing factor in a boat crash that killed two sisters on Lake Winnebago, according to an incident report obtained by Action 2 News.

Under a heading in the report titled "Operator Condition", a box for "Had Been Drinking" is checked for each driver. Blood alcohol tests were ordered. The results of those tests are pending.

The report also shows "navigation rules violation" as a contributing factor in the Aug. 18 crash in the Town of Vinland.

The crash killed 26-year-old Lauren Laabs and 20-year-old Cassie Laabs. The women, both passengers, were ejected from the boat.

A family dog was also ejected and died.

The investigation shows that the Laabs's boat was traveling west on Lake Winnebago and the second boat was traveling north.

"According to both operators, neither saw the other vessel," reads the incident report.

The report states the front side of the Laabs's boat hit the center starboard side of the second boat.

The Laabs's boat, which was carrying a driver and three passengers, was traveling 10-20 mph. The second boat, which was carrying a driver and passenger, was traveling 21-40 mph.

No one on either boat was wearing a personal flotation device at the time of the crash.

Action 2 News is not identifying either driver as no charges have been filed. We'll continue to update this developing story.