February 10, 2015 - 4:18 PM
KAMLOOPS – A speedboat driver was speeding and weaving across Shuswap Lake before crashing head-on with a houseboat and remained lodged in the vessel nearly five years ago, a Crown prosecutor said today, Feb. 10.
The trial for Leon Reinbrecht began today in Kamloops Supreme Court. Reinbrecht is charged with criminal negligence causing the death of houseboat operator Ken Brown. Another 13 people onboard were injured. Crown prosecutor Neil Flanagan said the two boats collided head-on sometime after 11 p.m. on July 3, 2010.
Flanagan said the lake was filled with many boats as spectators gathered in the Magna Bay area of the lake to watch the Canada Day fireworks show.
Christie Nelson, the Crown’s first witness, said she was having a post-fireworks bonfire in front of her cabin with friends when she heard a boat speeding through the water.
“I saw a speedboat coming quickly across the lake. We heard a really, really loud crash,” she said. “We heard the sound of the propeller being out of the water.”
Nelson said she and her friends yelled at the boat’s operator to shut off the engine before her husband and brother boated out to the scene of the crash to help passengers.
Once the houseboat was towed to shore, Nelson said passengers stayed huddled on blankets on the beach until they were asked to leave as Brown’s body was removed from the wreckage. During impact, Brown's body was thrown into the back of Reinbrecht's speedboat.
Flanagan said he expects to call nearly 50 witnesses during the trial.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015