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10 year anniversary of a bad day of boating

Old 11-25-2007, 10:41 PM
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Default 10 year anniversary of a bad day of boating

Guy left Shooters in a 39 Sonic named the Merrymaker and speared a 31 Tiara killing all 6 aboard in the ICW.

Effects of 1997 boat tragedy still rippling
Fatal crash decade ago still affecting lives

By Brittany Wallman and Robert Nolin | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
November 24, 2007
FORT LAUDERDALE - Ten years ago today, the calls came in to 911. One boat was sinking in the Intracoastal Waterway, another one revving up on a seawall, its engines screaming.

"There's a cigarette boat that just crashed into the wall over here, just south of Sunrise Boulevard!" a 911 caller reported.

"There's serious injuries," another caller said. "There's people in this water!"

These were the moments after one of the worst boat crashes in Florida history, on Nov. 24, 1997, in northeast Fort Lauderdale. Six men died.

The driver of the speeding boat deemed guilty was a local developer, Stanley Cameron, convicted of drunkenly speeding through that part of the Intracoastal and ripping the other boat in half. His girlfriend, Deborah Keener, survived after being rescued from the dark waters. Everyone on the boat they hit died.

The head-on crash was so powerful, two callers thought the boat exploded.

"I live on the Intracoastal, and there's a boat that has just blown up right outside my window. ...," one of them said. "It is totally trashed and sinking."

"I heard this thing, I thought it was a tornado coming!" another caller told the dispatcher.

Ten years later, the deadly collision isn't forgotten. Families still mourn. Residents near the crash still beg boaters to slow down. And the man held responsible for the carnage is still trying to get out of prison.

Warning sounded
Geri Udell looks at the crash site every day. It's just beyond her backyard.

She's used to the growl of go-fast boats gunning through the 25 mph zone, near the confluence of the Middle River with the Intracoastal. Since the accident, slow-speed restrictions were imposed year-round on weekends and state holidays.

Udell and another neighbor took videotape of reckless boating to a city marine board about a month before the crash.

"We told them someone was going to get killed," Udell said.

They were right.

"There are people out here....," a 911 caller shouted into the phone. "Where are you?! We need an ambulance."

"There's serious injuries....," another caller said. "We found one person, but we can't find the other people. ... We can hear them, but we can't see them! Oh, please, oh, please!"

Soon, the 31-foot cabin cruiser Bill It was gone; split in half, it sunk.

Bodies in bags were lain in another neighbor's yard. The dead: Jay Colonna, 37, the Delray Beach owner of the boat and owner of a construction company; his cousin, John Colonna, 38, of New Jersey; Donald Draper, 50, of Chicago; Roger Wypyszynski, 60, of Pennsylvania; Joseph Mongelluzzo, 48, of Delaware; and Simon Prankerd, 32, of Lighthouse Point, a boat captain they had hired so their evening would be safe.

Sentence reduced
Cameron, 66, is still in prison in Miami. The divorced father of six won a resentencing a year ago, reducing his term for boating under the influence/manslaughter from 85 years to 50. Still, he'd be 116 when the doors open.

He has a new attorney who specializes in appeals: Steve Wisotsky, a professor of criminal law at Nova Southeastern University. He's appealing the 50-year term.,3691005.story
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Old 11-26-2007, 05:52 AM
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Didn't need that this morning. Jay Colonna was a customer and a friend

I hope the scumbag atty thats trying to get his killers sentence reduced keels over and dies.. painfully..
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