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Old 12-04-2007, 12:38 AM
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Its a tragic accident that happened. However its to bad that the press can convict people even better then the prosecuter. You was there in court and personally saw this and still look what the outcome was.
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:57 AM
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I was a very minor player and I think my testimony was taken with a grain of salt because I was Stan's friend and trusted mechanic at the time.

Once the system decides they are going to make an example out of you; you're screwed.

They acted like Stan purposely intended to ram that boat and kill those people.

Don't get me wrong, I feel terrible that those families lost those members, but it was an ACCIDENT. Can you imagine the public outcry if Stan had been aquitted? People would be saying he bought his way out of trouble because of who he is.

I still think the Tiara factory should have been sued by the families. I saw the underwater photographs of the boat on the bottom of the ICW. The captain that they hired for that night was NOT at the helm at the time of impact. His body was in the cabin. The fiberglass was so thin and dry where it was penetrated it was a joke. Nobody would listen to me to do a burn test on the Tiara fiberglass.

Just a little side note: The Sonic factory was owned by Anthony Andrews when this accident happened. HE WANTED TO KNOW IF HE COULD SOMEHOW USE IT IN HIS ADVERTISING ABOUT HOW STRONG SONIC BOATS ARE BUILT!!!!! Just when you think people can't get any lower.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:16 AM
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Lets hope that these stay at a minimum. Accidents happen and people die which is tragic like we both said. You are right people sometimes are low and say things they shouldn't. How fast did they say he was running?
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:27 AM
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A few idiots that live on the ICW testified under oath that the boat was travelling 85 to 90 MPH! They were judging by the SOUND of the 3 502's 445hp AT NIGHT!

I ran that boat more than both owners put together and I can assure you it NEVER ran more than 77 MPH on it's best day, and that was using all the tricks I know to get it to run that fast. Boat was loaded with every option: air, gen, microwave, TV, refrig, range, etc. Exhaust was very loud.
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:45 AM
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Back to what I was saying about the press. I realize some guys used to run the ICW fast but I can't see it. Its really not that big there is it. As I take it, wasn't it by where the Doubletree is now. I am sure the sound echoes through there and off of the water but that speed would be excess and like you said not accurate.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:28 AM
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I remember when you could run the ICW that fast and yes it was narrow in places. I remember you could hear boats coming from a long ways off. I recall a 44 or 45 Sonic in the early nineties with a lime green stripe down the side that used to run from Shooters up to Pomano alot. The guy always claimed he was the owner of Sonic but never knew who he was.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:51 AM
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More articles with pics on the 97 crash
http://www.rbbi.com/folders/acc/ftla...laud2.htm#cnn1
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Old 12-04-2007, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbr2328 View Post
I remember when you could run the ICW that fast and yes it was narrow in places. I remember you could hear boats coming from a long ways off. I recall a 44 or 45 Sonic in the early nineties with a lime green stripe down the side that used to run from Shooters up to Pomano alot. The guy always claimed he was the owner of Sonic but never knew who he was.
That was probably Jay Ross who started Sonic Boats and was working for the company back then. Great guy. Works for Active Thunder now. Forgot more about high performance boats than most of us will ever know. I learned much from him.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:18 PM
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Very sad - and a very chity title to a thread like this. Kind of reminds me of Flash Gordon the way his boat veered off for no reason.

On the other accident - that is horrible after reading Cozzi's post. Hard to believe that after an ACCIDENT like that how a jury can decide when there was clearly reasonable doubt.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward R. Cozzi View Post
Yes, I do.
I spent most of the afternoon changing the oil and tuning-up the 3 engines in that 45' Sonic. I had it running better than it ever had before. I was surprised Stan still wanted to use it that night because it was very cool and dark early that evening. It was on a Hydro-Hoist across from Shooters.

Anyway, Stan picked-up his girlfriend from the airport around 7:15 PM and brought her back to the boat. They went by water to Pier 66 and had dinner. On the way back the collision occurred. Months later I testified as an expert witness in the case.

This is my opinion:
The jury completely disregarded the physical evidence. The starboard and center Bravo 1's were completely sheared off and hanging by the indicator cables. The port drive looked like nothing touched it. The port drive was not turned to either side, it was perfectly straight. The Tiara was raised and the rudders were both turned hard to port. The prosecution's experts testified that the boats impacted on the starboard side of the Tiara at a 22 degree angle. Had the Tiara had any reasonable structural integrity where it was hit, the boats should have bounced off one another. Instead the Sonic penetrated the Tiara just aft of the helm and went over the transom. The Tiara was on the bottom in less than a minute with 6 dead people on board. Three died from blunt trauma and three died from drowning. It was a very sad night for boating.

The media went crazy because Stan was a successful businessman with a loud, fast "Cigarette" speedboat, a hot, young girlfriend and a Harley-Davidson; among other toys. It didn't help he lived in the penthouse apartment across from Shooters. Stan and Debbie shared a bottle of wine over dinner and at least 1/3 of it was on the boat with them heading home. When the marine patrol saw the bottle on board, they immediately assumed alcohol impairment. Stan's defense lawyer told me his blood samples were 48 hours old before they were tested and were contaminated.

I feel the system made an example of Stan with the harsh sentence. The physical evidence obviously showed the Tiara captain panicked and turned in front of the Sonic. Stan lived and the people on the Tiara did not, so Stan got it shoved so far up his a$$, he'll probably never walk a free man again.
Thank you for your analysis of the situation. It certainly shows another side of the story. I think most of us take the quality of our boats for granted because even the "cheap ones" are built for the abuse of high performance boating. Unfortunatly many other builders only build for slow cruising in calm water and cannot survive any impact. Ive seen a cruiser bump into a bridge and go down.
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