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St clair accident update

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Old 07-29-2003, 02:37 PM
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Exclamation St clair accident update

Boat operator in fatal accident skips court date

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

BY TAMARA AUDI AND NANCY YOUSSEF
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITERS


A Chesterfield Township man facing charges in a deadly boating accident skipped court this morning, instead sending his fiance in with a note explaining his absence and sending police on a brief manhunt.

By noon, Macomb County Sheriff's officers had located the man and placed a guard on him, said Macomb County Sheriff's Detective Chris Amey. Amey would not disclose the man's location, but said they hoped to have him arraigned today. The man's name will not be released until he appears in court.

The hunt was the latest twist in a tragic case that has frustrated investigators, mostly because of uncooperative witnesses, said Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel.

The man was arrested after the speedboat he was piloting flipped Friday night in Lake St. Clair, near Anchor Bay. All six riders were thrown into the water, including the man's 16-year-old son, three other men and a woman. Nearby boaters pulled five survivors from the water immediately.

But a sixth man, John Anthony Karl, 33, of Macomb Township, was missing. He was found dead Saturday.

The dead man's parents traveled from Ohio to identify him - a process delayed by the other passengers who were reluctant to give police his name, Hackel said.

At first, the other passengers claimed they weren't sure of the dead man's identity. As the search for Karl progressed into the night, investigators also found it odd that the other passengers never called to ask about the dead man, if he had been found or how the search was proceeding.

And passengers threw another roadblock into the investigation, agreeing as a group to tell police that the dead man was driving the boat when it flipped, Hackel said the rescuers told investigators.

``We were told there was a little huddle during the rescue operation,'' Hackel said.

Other witnesses told investigators that the dead man had not been piloting the boat when it flipped, and identified the man who was eventually charged.

The man faces three counts: operating a boat while intoxicated and causing death; operating a boat while intoxicated and causing injury; and child endangerment.

Hackel said a background check on the man revealed he was involved in an auto accident in 1982 and caused serious injury.

The man's fiance, who was also injured in the accident, presented the judge with a note saying the man could not attend his arraignment because he had to return to the hospital for treatment of injuries he suffered during the accident.

Police checked the hospital but he had already left, investigators said. By late morning today, authorities had a felony warrant for his arrest and were actively searching for the man.

They caught up with him a few hours later. He is still due to be arraigned today, authorities said. But there's another obstacle: the man fired his lawyer late last night and as of this afternoon did not have new representation.

from what i know? boat was 27 magnum
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:40 PM
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Un-f'ing-believable...
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dockrocker
Un-f'ing-believable...
No doubt! Go directly to jail, do not pass go, say goodbye to your virgin ass, say hello to the clink.
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:54 PM
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From the Macomb Daily (small town local rag)

Quote:
Boat driver to be charged in man's drowning

By Jameson Cook, Macomb Daily Staff Writer July 29, 2003

The deadly and all-too-common combination of alcohol consumption and careless boating appeared to lead to the drowning of a 33-year-old Macomb Township man.
A 49-year-old Chesterfield Township man will be formally charged today in 42nd District Court for causing the death of John Anthony Karl, who drowned after being thrown from a speed boat on Lake St. Clair.

Macomb County Sheriff's officials said the boater's apparent disregard of basic safety standards led to the drowning about 6:30 p.m. Friday in Anchor Bay of Lake St. Clair.

The 27-foot-Magnum power boat was traveling too fast in waters made choppy by heavy boat traffic, police said. The watercraft moving at a high rate of speed hit an especially large wake and flipped, throwing the six occupants into the water, according to police. Several pieces broke off the vessel, which was a self-assembled model, and sank.

Five of the six people were rescued by area boaters, Marine Division deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard, and three suffered no injuries.

"It's like driving a car in rain or snow, when you're in choppy waters or waves you have to slow down and take more due care," Detective Sgt. Chris Amey said.

"It's always dangerous to go into a wake of another boat," Sheriff Mark Hackel said. "You have to slow your speed down. It's very jarring for the passengers when you hit the wake. They bounce around."

Investigators believe another safety measure could have avoided the death: It appears none of the occupants was wearing a life jacket.

Karl's body was found about 12:30 p.m. the next day by sheriff's divers. The dive team had set up a search perimeter about the size of a football field.

The driver and his girlfriend each suffered back injuries. The driver was treated at Mount Clemens General Hospital and was released late Sunday or early Monday. His girlfriend, a 45-year-old Shelby Township woman who also suffered a punctured lung, was still in the hospital Monday afternoon.

Hackel said law enforcement officials constantly remind boaters to refrain from excessive or any alcohol consumption while captaining a boat. But every year, drunken boaters cause injury and death.

"If you're going to ride with somebody who has been drinking, try to convince them not to operate the boat," Hackel said. "Or don't get inside the boat."

Hackel acknowledged boaters can avoid law enforcement officers more easily than motorists on the road since there are fewer police and traffic controls on the water compared to roads.

The suspected drunken boater in this case failed field sobriety tests, then had blood drawn that will later determine his blood-alcohol count. Having a blood alcohol count of .10 or above is considered legally drunk in Michigan. It will soon lower to .08.

Besides being charged with causing the death of Karl, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, the Chesterfield man will be charged with drunken driving causing injury, a 5-year felony, and child endangerment, a 4-year felony, because one of the passengers was 16 years old.

Karl was a 1987 graduate of Warren High School.

ŠThe Macomb Daily 2003
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Old 07-29-2003, 02:57 PM
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From the sound of it at this piont I suspect things are going to get even stranger.

Skeletons anyone???????????

Maybe he just hit his head and this is just a big misunderstanding
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Old 07-29-2003, 03:55 PM
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It's no wonder we have a bad rep !!! Between the rich ass-hole in Cincy & this stupid ****.
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Old 07-29-2003, 05:36 PM
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Sad for sure, I knew John, not real well, but I saw him out all over town all the time....
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Old 07-29-2003, 09:38 PM
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What a bad year for Lake St. Clair. Another tragedy cause by stupidity. I feel for the victims family. There is no subsitute for stupid.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by birdog
It's no wonder we have a bad rep !!! Between the rich ass-hole in Cincy & this stupid ****.
No doubt.

Man, sorry to hear this stuff. This entire thing is bizarre. I can't belive 5 freakin people would blame a dead guy for driving and wrecking. I hope they all get jail time for that insanity.

Be safe....A4
 
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