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Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver.

UPDATE: Five of the seven victims of a deadly crash into Weiss Lake in Cherokee County, Ala., Tuesday night have now been identified.

Four bodies were recovered from the water Tuesday night and another is still missing, according to authorities.

Cherokee County Coroner Dr. Jeremy Deaton said the four victims of the crash who lost their lives have been identified as Robert Hardin, Cheryl Hobson, her daughter, Christy Hobson, and Dale Keener, ranging in age from their 20s to their 40s.

The person still missing was identified as Jefferson County resident Bobby Shore, a friend of Hardin's, Deaton said.

The two victims who survived, both Leesburg residents, were transported to a hospital in nearby Gadsden for treatment and have since returned home.

Deaton said they asked that their names not be released.


ORIGINAL STORY: Four people are dead, two are hospitalized and another is still missing this morning after a car plunged into Weiss Lake in Leesburg, Ala., Tuesday night.

Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver said the seven people riding in a Kia SUV around 7 p.m. CST Tuesday apparently were unfamiliar with the roads surrounding the small town in Cherokee County, Ala., after dark.

"They took a wrong turn and ran off the end of the boat ramp," Shaver said this morning.

The group in the Kia apparently drove out to the end of Riverside Street where the road to Leesburg Landing dead ends into a boat ramp and a tight loop that passes very near the shoreline of Weiss Lake.

Shaver said two of the passengers were pulled to safety but four others have been confirmed dead.

Shaver said the two survivors of the incident were able to talk to state police and first responders who got to the scene not long after their vehicle went into the river.

Search teams are looking for the seventh person still missing.

Leesburg police and fire, the Cherokee County Rescue Squad and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency are continuing to investigate the accident.

Shaver declined to say where the Kia was from and said the victims' names won't be released until the next of kin has been notified. The county coroner will make that announcement, he said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.