Third body recovered from Cal-Sag Channel crash

The body of a third missing boater has been recovered from the Calumet-Saganashkee Channel, following a weekend crash between a pleasure boat and a commercial vessel near Palos Heights.

The body of Bob Bienlarz of Orland Park was found about a mile and a half west of the Worth boat launch area, an Illinois Department of Natural Resources spokesperson said.

Two other people were killed in the Friday crash.

The cause of the collision remained under investigation. The 19-foot boat capsized and had significant damage, Chris Young, a spokesman for the state Department of Natural Resources, said Sunday.

The bodies of Jeremy Muzika, 33, and Viengsavnh Bielarz, 40, were recovered from the water Saturday afternoon, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office and the U.S. Coast Guard. Neither was wearing a life jacket, according to the Coast Guard.

They died of drowning and multiple injuries after the boat collided with a 66-foot barge, an autopsy found Sunday. The deaths were ruled accidents.

Teams from the Coast Guard, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other authorities began a search about 11 p.m. Friday after the boat and the barge collided on the Cal-Sag near mile marker 311.

Authorities used sonar to search for victims on Saturday. But on Sunday, search efforts were hampered after powerful Saturday storms stirred up the channel, preventing two Illinois Conservation Police search teams from using sonar.

Sun Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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boat accidentPalos Heights
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