Driver in Richland Regatta dies after boat flips

A driver in a Richland boat race died Friday after his hydroplane boat flipped during the event.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office said the driver was Matt Mattson of Poulsbo, KNDU television reported. He was tossed into the Columbia River when his boat flipped during the Richland Regatta. The three-day event is organized by the Northwest Powerboat Association and held in Richland.

Mattson drove "Good Vibrations," an SE-400 boat. The boat was reportedly traveling about 90 miles an hour when Mattson was thrown from the open cockpit. He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Friday was the first day of races. The event was paused for about the last half hour of the day after Mattson’s accident.