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U.S. Representative and Staff Injured in Speedboat Accident in Helena Montana

On Saturday, August 29, 2009, a family spokesman for the U.S. Representative Denny Rehberg has reported that Representative Rehberg and four others were seriously injured in a speedboat accident when the boat crashed into Rocky Flathead Lake shore as the group was returning to their resort from dinner.

Representative Rehberg suffered an ankle injury requiring surgery. He also suffered a fracture around his eye. Rehberg had a blood alcohol level of .05 but it was made clear through reports that Rehberg was not driving the boat. Rehberg could be released from the hospital soon but it was not clear when he'll return to work.

State Director Dustin Frost, suffered a serious but "survivable" head injury and is under the care of a neurosurgeon. There is no time line for the release of Frost. Reports say that he is responsive but not holding conversations. The Rehberg family friend stated that Frost suffered a significant brain injury but says that the "best thing he has going for him is that 27 years old and strong."

The owner of the boat, Kalispell Republican State Senator Greg Barkus is up and about. There was no details given regarding Barkus' injuries.

Barkus wife was also involved in the crash and is reported as doing well and holding conversations but no details were given regarding her injuries as well.

Rehberg Staffer Kristen Smith was the fifth person on board the boat and suffered several fractures including to the nose and wrist. It was reported she could be released in a couple days.

Flathead County sheriff office did not comment on the accident.

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