BRITISH COLUMBIA

Man accused in deadly 2010 speedboat-houseboat crash goes on trial in B.C.

02/10/2015 04:46 EST | Updated 04/12/2015 05:59 EDT
KAMLOOPS, B.C. - Prosecutors say a speedboat was zigzagging at a high rate of speed on a British Columbia lake in 2010 before it crashed into a houseboat, killing a man.

Leon Reinbrecht is accused of being the driver and is on trial in a Kamloops, B.C. court, charged with criminal negligence causing the death of Ken Brown and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.

Crown counsel Neil Flanagan says Reinbrecht, his son and his son's girlfriend were on the water after post-Canada Day fireworks and were "travelling in a back-and-forth manner" when the collision occurred at about 11:15 p.m.

He says Reinbrecht's vessel penetrated the houseboat's main galley, the force of which threw Brown inside the speedboat's bow.

Christie Nelson, whose family owns a local cabin, says she was sitting around a bonfire with friends and heard the speedboat's motor go from a low-rumbling noise to a high-pitched whirring noise as its engine left the water.

The Crown expects to call 50 witnesses during the trial, which is slated to run into mid-March.

"In my mind, it was something that was unusual. It was a really dark night and it was unusual to have a boat travelling so fast for the conditions, says Nelson.

"I exclaimed to my friends at the fire, 'Why is this person going so fast? They're going too fast. They can't see anything.'" (Kamloops This Week)