Originally Posted by articfriends
My wife and I are LOFA'sO on that one as that was my last boat.
SML 2 counts manslaughter.
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Boater to face charges
August 25, 2005
BEDFORD - The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries charged a Moneta boater Wednesday with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the deaths of a local couple on Smith Mountain Lake.
Mark F. Detournillon Sr., 45, turned himself in to Bedford County authorities around 4:30 p.m. He was arrested soon after.
If Detournillon is granted bond, he will not be allowed to operate a boat, consume alcohol or leave the state. He must also surrender his passport and be on good behavior. Those conditions are at the request of Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz.
Officials say Detournillon was going more than 60 mph in his Donzi high-performance speedboat when it ran into the back end of a cabin cruiser around 10 p.m. Saturday, which happened about five miles south of Hales Ford Bridge.
His boat, which was equipped with two-high performance engines, ran over the entire length of the 32-foot cabin cruiser. The accident killed Judith and Lawrence Lewis and their dog, a miniature Dalmatian, said Lt. Karl Martin of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
An autopsy showed the Lewises died from blunt force injuries and chop wounds, meaning they were both hit and cut in the crash.
Lawrence Lewis was 58 and his wife, Judith, was 59. The Moneta couple were members of the Smith Mountain Lake Boating Association.
If convicted, Detournillon will face up to 10 years for each count, Martin said.
Detournillon is well known by boaters at Smith Mountain Lake. He owns and operates Shoreline Marina, and is a past officer of the Smith Mountain Lake Boating Association.
Alcohol and speed were factors in the weekend crash, Martin said.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Detournillon told a game warden following the accident that he had not been drinking alcohol but was taking the medication Guafesin, which aids with colds and coughs, and the pain relievers Lortab and Naprosyn.
After Detournillon was taken to the emergency room at Carilion Bedford Memorial Hospital, he told the game warden that along with his medications, he had also drank a glass of Merlot with dinner at Mariner’s Landing.
The affidavit states that the odor of alcohol was detected on Detournillon at the scene of the accident and at the hospital.
While authorities have determined Detournillon’s blood alcohol content, Martin would not release that information Wednesday.
“There are a lot of things that cannot be released before the trial,” Martin said.
According to court records, Detournillon was convicted in July 2004 of reckless operation of a boat and eluding police and was fined a total of $1,250 in Franklin County General District Court.
The couple’s deaths bring the lake’s death toll this year to three.
“There have been a lot of tragedies involving boat crashes, but this is by far one of the worst,” Martin said.
“Anytime there is a life lost, it is tragic.”
Staff writer Dionne Waugh contributed to this report. WSLS NewsChannel 10 reporter Denise Eck contributed to this article.
Originally Posted by articfriends
My wife and I are LOFA'sO on that one as that was my last boat.
I hate it when common sense has to be legislated or made into laws. But, there is no subsitute for stupid. And operators of any type of boat that run hard at night is stupid.
I happen to boat on Lake St. Clair, and when I was younger and had good night vision and perception is was tricky. Lake St. Clair is a popular fishing lake. Much fishing is done at night and many fishing boats from 14' on up don't have adequate lighting. Many sail boats on the lake have a little dim light on their mast, to match the dim light between their ears. Remember, there is no subsitute for stupid. There are unlighted markers, shallow spots and 1000' freighters. I can go on and on why anything over minimum planning speed is dangerous.
Sorry folks, I like going fast and performance boats as good as the next guy, but night conditions around here just don't allow it to be done safely at anything over mimimum planing speeds. So if you need to write a ticket to a guy that wants to indanger himself, passengers, and others on the lake, (even though they may be stupid for putting themselves in that position) then so be it.
the answere is about 30 seconds before impact between the 2 boats at 45 mph a mile awayOriginally Posted by ActiveThunder
that news account was inaccurate. the investagation proved a speed of 40-45 mph. also, find information about the tragic loss of the couple's lives. find out what they were doing that night as well.
i would be more likely to support a licensing/ endorsment type law only draw back is the water patrols would use it to harrass certain boaters . but i do think better rules of the road education and some common sense could go a long way. the thing with speed at night rules is it is a first step to speed limits all of the time. i mean lets face it i am not supporting drunk driving but remember when th legal limit was .015 bac now its .008. as well as the penalty increases. i just think there have got to be better ways. but i live on lake erie so its normally not to congested in the open water. my .02
Here is the tragic end to the Lake Conroe accident that I posted above. Truly sad:
Paper: Houston Chronicle
Date: Sun 11/06/2005
Page: 1 Metfront
Edition: 4 STAR
Murder-suicide suspected in deaths / Couple had lost 3 family members in boat accident
By RENEE LEE, ZEKE MINAYA, HARVEY RICE, ROBERT CROWE
CONROE - A retired couple who lost three family members in a boat crash in 1999 were fatally shot Saturday in what authorities said was apparently a murder-suicide.
The bodies of Fred Hart, 66, and wife Julia, 65, were found inside the waterfront home that overlooks the lake where years earlier Julia Hart's daughters and grandson were killed by the drunken driver of a speedboat.
Montgomery County sheriff's deputies were called to the couple's home in the 300 block of Bayshore at 9:30 a.m. after Julia Hart called authorities and said she had been shot, according to department Sgt. Ken Culbreath.
Deputies arrived at the two-story home in a gated subdivision and found Julia Hart in the garage and Fred Hart in a downstairs bathroom, both with gunshot wounds, Culbreath said. Authorities transported the couple to Conroe Regional Medical Center, where they were pronounced dead.
Investigators said there was no indication of a break-in and that it seemed Fred Hart shot his wife before turning the gun on himself, Culbreath said.
Investigators recovered a handgun at the scene but said they did not find a suicide note. There was no history of domestic violence, Culbreath said.
The Harts retired to the lakefront house in 1997 and bought a cabin cruiser in hopes of enjoying outings on the water.
On July 17, 1999, they went on a late-afternoon boating excursion with Julia's daughters, Jewel Brown, 39, and Lonni Grisby, 28, and Grisby's son, Joseph. They were celebrating the boy's first birthday.
Also on the slow-moving cruiser was Brown's boyfriend, Kenneth Flemon.
Julia Hart was the first to notice the speedboat. It was about 200 to 300 feet away from them but closing fast. Investigators would later estimate that the speedboat was traveling between 60 mph and 70 mph before the collision. Hart alerted her husband, but it was too late.
The speedboat rammed them with such force that nearly one-third of the vessel was jammed into the hull of the cabin cruiser.
During the subsequent trial of the speedboat's driver for intoxicated manslaughter, Fred Hart testified that after impact, he saw Brown lying on the deck motionless.
He also told the court that he heard Grisby crying out from the lower deck that she could not find her son.
Fred Hart said he looked through a hatch and saw Grisby's hands sticking out from under the speedboat where she was trapped.
He grabbed her hands but eventually let go after she died, he testified.
The speedboat pilot, Reginald Morris, of Plantersville, was found guilty of three counts of intoxication manslaughter and sentenced to 60 years in prison.
A retrial two years after the original trial also ended in a guilty verdict.
The incident eventually led the San Jacinto River Authority to restrict the lake's speed limits and inspired the Legislature to pass penalties for boating while intoxicated.
Here in Indiana, our night time law is idle after sunset. Got a ticket several yrs ago 5min after sunset for going to fast. I was justfast enough to keep from falling off plane. 22' boat too, so at least 1/2 the speed needed for the current boat. It was one of those times it was clear as day, a good 1/2hr before visual would have been a factor, but the CO said they go by the local paper. No if ands or buts.
In darkness, depth perception is a strange thing. The white light you see can either be a house light on shore, or a stern light 30' in front of you. Both can look the same. And even with a flood light a couple times when I thought I was far away from shore, it was WAY closer than it seemed. If I don't want to idle back in the dark, I leave earlier.
No more laws or rules we have enough already and what someone already said, you can’t legislate common sense.
We already have a safe speed rule for all times of day/night and states of visibility
(rule 6). How does one suggest proper and efficient enforcement of yet another law? Each and every boater must be properly educated on the safe operation of his or her vessel under all operating conditions.
To clarify lighting requirements; vessels less than 12 meters must display side lights to have an intensity as to be seen at least one mile, mast/stern light to be seen at least two miles. Properly installed navigation lights meeting the minimum luminous intensity formulas are clearly visible. Manufactures are essential self regulated to install the lights as required by regulation and operators to use and maintain them to the proper standards.
The most valuable tool you have while running at night is the ability to establish and maintain proper night vision. This means the elimination or reduction of cockpit, panel and instrument lights, and proper identification of all background lighting. The worst thing to use at night is any type of spot light or forward dock lights. They are to be used only within feet of a dock or when approaching another vessel close aboard.
Lastly you must never forget rule 5. Every vessel must maintain a proper lookout to be able to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision. All this means is a quick brief with your buddy onboard to be conscious of what is going on and how to communicate a sighting to the operator.
Just this last Sunday night I left Hillsboro enroute to Port Everglades. My buddy called out and motioned to everything, even though I saw the sailboat he made sure I saw it and I was very fortunate when he saw the mooring ball I had not seen.
I enjoy running at night and have been fortunate enough to have had a career which has allowed me to run quite a lot at night so I guess I have a bit more experience and sense of comfort.
Please just be safe and encourage others to watch out for themselves and there boating friends because we cannot afford more rules and restrictions on our boating lifestyle and freedom
"It's not what you do, it's how well you do it"
Driving at nite with your very little green and red light up front is about the same as driving down the road with your lights off. Except that driving a car you have lanes, if you can stay in your lane than the only thing you have to worry about is in front and behind you. When you are in a boat, you have to try to judge the angle the boat is going and the speed he is going. I have canopys and I will NOT drive my boat at nite with out a emergency. Too dangerous!
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