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Alcohol involved in a fatal boat crash in Wisconsin

I have preached many times through my blogs, of the danger of drinking and driving. The same is true for operating a personal water craft, boat, airplane, motorcycle, ATV, or snowmobile. Alcohol and speed  can kill.

Over this past weekend, there was a fatal boat accident on Lake Nagawicka in Waukesha County. A 53 year old Hartland man who apparently admitted to being “super drunk” to authorities, while operating his boat, was charged this past Monday with killing a woman, who was on another boat.  The person is facing a single count of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle in the fatal accident that happened early Friday evening.

While details are still coming in, the criminal complain in the manner refers to the Hartland an as operating his deck boat at a speed of approximately 25 mph, when he struck another pontoon boat at 5:45pm, without slowing down his boat. The victim, who was a passenger on the pontoon boat, driven by her husband, was thrown from the boat and died from drowning and blunt force trauma.

When law enforcement arrived at the scene, they apparently found beer and alcohol on the deck boat. Another person who was a passenger on the deck boat told authorities that the boat was operated by Anthony F. Drewes, the person now charged with the crime.  Police apparently found Anthony Drewes in the water, apparently trying to hide from law enforcement. They ordered him out of the water and they apparently observed him to be intoxicated and he later apparently having admitted to being “super drunk.” He apparently initially denied operating the boat, but later admitted that he was, in fact, operating his deck boat at the time.

The damage from the scene of the accident indicates both boats were damaged and suggests that the deck boat t-boned the pontoon boat and went over it, leaving damage to the bow and under the hull of the striking boat. Anthony Drewes refused to consent to a blood test, so he was taken to a hospital where law enforcement had to obtain a search warrant where his blood could be drawn.

While the tragic accident remains under investigation, and you are not guilty by simply being charged with a crime, however the accident occurred this past Friday, underscores the importance of not drinking and operating a motor boat at the same time. At 5:45 pm in late summer, there couldn’t have been an issue with it being dark or difficult to see. 25 mph is fast enough to pull  someone who wants to water ski and boats do not have brakes on them, only steering and a throttle to reduce speed. Drinking and boating is no different than drinking and driving. My sympathies go to the husband and family of the woman who lost her life, while probably out for a sunset cruise after a busy work week on the lake, and as well, for the family of Anthony Drewes. A news article indicates he is married and has two teenage children at home.

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