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Friends and Family Remember SW Missouri Men Killed Boating Accident

JOPLIN, Mo.--- Jeff Asbell and Brad Smith died after their boat flipped over on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky on Saturday.

JOPLIN, Mo.--- Jeff Asbell and Brad Smith died after their boat flipped over on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky on Saturday.

Both Asbell and  Smith are described as having a passion for their work.

"He was a very smart business men. He worked very hard," said Steve Stockam, who knew Asbell for more than 20 years.

"He had a passion for it and he went after that passion," said Brian Smith, Brad's brother.

Asbell, 47, and Smith, 39, died after a boating accident on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky on Saturday.  Asbell owned Jeff Asbell Excavating and Trucking in Carl Junction and Alpha Air Center. People who knew Asbell say lately he had gotten into boat racing.

"He liked fast stuff. He used to race cars," said Stockam.

Smith also had a passion for power boats. He owned Smith Power in Joplin where his business was widely known for its power boat engines.

"If he wasn't working on somebody's boat, fixing it, he was enjoying himself with his family and they loved to power boat," said Brian Smith.

Friends and family say both business men were known for their hard work ethic.

"Jeff was very enthusiastic. He wanted to see things grow," said Charles King, Former Instructor.

Steve Stokham with the Joplin Regional Airport knew Asbell for over 20 years.

"If you want to think about a self-made man, there's an individual who literally started out with almost nothing and built and became very, very successful in business," said Stockam.

Brian Smith says his brother was known for the quality of his work in the boating industry.

"Sometimes during the busy part of the season he'd have to work 18 plus hours a day, and he did that day in and day out. And there was one reason why he did that, he wanted his guys and gals to go out on the lake and have fun," said Brian Smith.

Friends and family say they will be sorely missed.

"It's a loss for the community," said Stockam.

The men were participating in a speed boat event called the Lake Cumberland Poker Run. An official with the Kentucky Rish and Wildlife Department told local reporters that the boat was going in excess of 100 miles per hour at the time of the crash. Services are still being planned for both men.

(story contributed by KODE/KSN, Joplin)

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