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08/02 2017

West Michigan powerboat racer Keith Holmes killed in St. Clair River Classic

Holmes

West Michigan’s Keith Holmes, a power boat racer and owner, was killed Sunday after a crash during the St. Clair River Classic near Port Huron.

Holmes, who owns CK Motorsports in Nunica between Grand Rapids and Grand Haven, was serving as the throttleman on the 40-foot American Ethanol Cat Can Do when it collided with Miss GEICO. Holmes was also the owner of Cat Can Do.

According to a Port Huron Times Herald story, Holmes was pronounced dead after being transported to St. John River District Hospital in East China Township.

The Times Herald’s Nicole Hayden reported that the crash occurred in the north turn but the cause of the accident was unknown, according to St. Clair County Sheriff Marine Division Lt. Paul Reid.

NASCAR broadcaster Jeff Striegle was a long-time admirer of Holmes after calling power boat races in the past and had become friends with him in the last year.

“This is arguably one of the best off-shore power boat racers in the world,” said Striegle, who worked Sunday’s NASCAR event at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. “He is a many-time champion. He won races all over the country.

“I knew who he was long before he ever knew who I was. When I got a chance to really become friends with him … it was just a thrill for me.”

Holmes’ most recent victory came during June in the extreme division of an Offshore Powerboat Racing event at Lake Ozark, Mo.

Cat Can Do is a two-man boat that was being driven by Jamie Sartin, according to a report by boatkrazy.com. There was no word on Sartin’s condition.

Messages offering condolences were posted on Cat Can Do Racing’s Facebook page after the accident.