A man from New York was found guilty of drunken boating relating to a crash that killed two people. Tragically, the fatal victims of the accident were two dear friends of the man, one of whom was about to get married. He has been sentenced to serve two years in county prison.
During his sentencing hearing on Tuesday, the man offered his heartfelt apologies to the relatives of the victims. He said that the day of the accident -- which happened on July 26 of last year -- is the saddest day of his life. He also expressed his deep love and affection for both of the individuals who died. Relatives appeared in court, wearing t-shirts that honored the crash victims.
Boat Crashed into a Construction Barge
The accident happened when the boat collided with a construction barge while traveling at a high rate of speed. The deceased man and the bride-to-be had been riding as passengers along with several friends. The woman's fiance was among the passengers. He suffered injury in the collision, but was fortunate to survive.
On the night of the incident, the boat driver offered to take his friends for an evening ride after they had been drinking. At the sentencing, one of the surviving boat passengers said that, although he did not sanction the boat driver's behavior that night, the driver was not solely responsible for the events that occurred that day. Individuals speaking at the hearing were critical of the barge owner, saying that the local District Attorney's office should have investigated the barge owner's actions leading up to the incident.
Boat Driver Reached a Plea Deal with Prosecution
The prosecution brought forward strong evidence against the accused in this case -- including the boat driver's alleged blood alcohol level of over 0.15, the presence of cocaine in his system, and arguments that it was his inebriated state and reckless speed that caused the collision. As is common in criminal proceedings that involve strong evidence against the accused, this man was able to reach a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution. Through the plea deal, he avoided serving his 2-year jail sentence in state prison. Instead, he will serve the time in a county facility. It is also possible that the plea deal enabled the man to reduce the number of years of his sentence.
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