Wake 101
Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
WakeWorld Home
Email Password
Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Wakeboarding Discussion Archives > Archive through May 13, 2007

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old     (timsown)      Join Date: May 2005       05-08-2007, 1:44 PM Reply   
A man who died on Lake Sonoma after falling from a ski boat and getting stuck in the propeller was the victim of a drunken boating accident, sheriff's deputies said.

The gruesome Sunday afternoon accident prompted authorities to remind boaters about the dangers of mixing drinking and boating.

Mark Spier, 51, of Orland in Glenn County, was sitting near the propellers as the Master Craft ski boat backed up just before he fell, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department.

"He had some pretty severe trauma to his abdominal area from the propeller," Sheriff's Lt. Greg Contos said.

A sheriff's deputy swam under the boat to free the body from the propeller and Spier was prounounced dead at the scene. An autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.

The accident happened at 3:40 p.m. Sunday in the Warm Springs arm of Lake Sonoma near Jet Ski Cove, Contos said. The lake is the centerpiece of Lake Sonoma Recreation Area in Northern California's wine country.

The boat's operator, Will Dawson, 25, of Petaluma, was booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion for felony boating under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury to another person and misdemeanor charges of operating a boat with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater and operating a boat under the influence of alcohol.

Dawson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of drunken driving in 2000, according to Sonoma County Superior Court court records. He was arrested again on suspicion of drunk driving in February of this year, but has pleaded not guilty.

Dawson posted $10,000 bail bond and was released from jail late Sunday night. He is scheduled to appear in court on the boating charges May 24.

The penalties for drunken boating are similar to drunken driving and include jail, fines, license suspension, DUI school and probation.

Another passenger in the boat, Eric Brandon, 26, of Petaluma, was also arrested for being under the influence of alcohol, the sheriff's department said.

Sheriff's Lt. Chris Spallino did not have exact statistics readily available Monday, but he said drunken boating citations at Lake Sonoma are common. However, nothing in the California Harbors of Navigation Code prohibits having open containers of alcohol in vessels.

Enough said?
Old     (drewdown)      Join Date: Jun 2006       05-08-2007, 1:47 PM Reply   


(Message edited by drewdown on May 08, 2007)
Old     (drewsnautique94)      Join Date: Nov 2006       05-08-2007, 6:59 PM Reply   
Old     (preacherman)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-08-2007, 7:15 PM Reply   
Well although it may be a repost, it is a good one at that. This is something that we should ALL be aware of. If your behind the wheel, stay off the bottle. Alcohol is never a "good" result of anything. Got a good friend fighting for his life right now in the hospital for driving drunk
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-08-2007, 7:45 PM Reply   
This is one reason I dont drink heavily. You never know what stupid event can come from it. Anyone know the motocross rider that died a few years ago, not from motocross though. He got drunk at the lake and drowned.
Old     (legit)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-08-2007, 8:25 PM Reply   
Yo Leo its about time i posted on here. The rider who drowned was a freestyle rider by the name of Jeremy Carter, i think it was last year sometime
Old     (timsown)      Join Date: May 2005       05-08-2007, 9:03 PM Reply   
I had some insider information I was going to add to this once it got going. Some very interesting stuff I learned from the Father of one of the Sheriff's that was first on the scene. But, no one wants to hear from a dumb ass....
Old     (dcervenka)      Join Date: Sep 2002       05-08-2007, 9:13 PM Reply   
It would be *dumb* not to share the info...
Old     (cathy)      Join Date: Sep 2004       05-08-2007, 9:38 PM Reply   
Hey Tim, I'd like to hear it.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       05-08-2007, 10:30 PM Reply   
I think he was calling the guy in the article a dumbass, not you.
Old     (attila916)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-08-2007, 11:08 PM Reply   
Geez Mr. sensitive... LOL wimper wimper

Come on, tell your story!
Old     (timsown)      Join Date: May 2005       05-08-2007, 11:15 PM Reply   
I have been know to be one, so I just assumed. Anyway, it will be interesting to find out from the autopsy if the victim died from trauma or drowned. If you read in the article it was said that the body had to be freed from the propeller. Apparently the ski rope was also tangled in the prop and actually tethered the body to the prop shaft. I'm sorry if any are offended, as I do know this information is gruesome; however, the severity of the incident may keep some from over doing it while drinking and boating.
Old     (attila916)      Join Date: Oct 2005       05-08-2007, 11:33 PM Reply   
Wow. Now I am going to go to bed and will try not to think about it
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-09-2007, 8:41 AM Reply   
I'm still gonna have my few beers this weekend on the boat. While this is tragic,....just another incident of dumb and dumber..I know this ins't true legally, but I'm sure both parties share the blame in this one.
Old     (richd)      Join Date: Oct 2003       05-09-2007, 9:18 AM Reply   
The guy already has a 2nd pending DUI case and then this happens!

Why do they let these people back out in public?

(He's probably wishing they hadn't let him at this point.)
Old     (seansmitty42)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-09-2007, 9:22 AM Reply   
so he was sitting near the back of the boat while the boat was running sorry i dont believe this is all on the driver. i know just as well as anyone that you never sit directly behind the prop no matter what. and how come someone else in the boat didnt yell to move or tell the driver to stop. that report is kinda vague to be making assumptions
Old     (shavis)      Join Date: Aug 2005       05-09-2007, 9:32 AM Reply   
save the drinkin till the ridings done...
Old     (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       05-09-2007, 9:48 AM Reply   
i agree with sean, there's more to it. While alcohol is involved, its hard to say that sobriety would have prevented it. Seems to be a lot more going on that day than a few beers at the lake.

We put at least 200 hours on our boats every year. When you're out there that much, you absolutely cannot take chances with "overdoing it" and putting others (and yourself) at risk. I can appreciate the tone of the thread, but we need more info before we chalk this one up as a result of mixing alcohol and boats.
Old     (wake1823)      Join Date: Dec 2005       05-09-2007, 9:57 AM Reply   
Rich, not tryin to defend this guy at all, but in the last 10 years or so they have really tighten up DUI laws and police no longer let thigns slide. I can't tell by your profile how old you are, but this "kid" is 25. I've had very responsbile friends(lawyers,doctors, ect) been arrested on suspicion of DUI, with little to drink. Back in the day it was ok to drive with two beers in your system...nowadays that will land you in jail. I agree, the info provided by the story is vague.
Old     (denystaucd)      Join Date: Feb 2003       05-09-2007, 9:58 AM Reply   
Hey Sean, FYI (not try to be rude just adding info), in California all responsibility legally falls on the driver when the boat is in motion.

It's unfortunate this happened and I hope this coming season is safe for everyone

Old     (seansmitty42)      Join Date: Apr 2006       05-09-2007, 10:06 AM Reply   
dennis, so states the law that all responsibility is on the driver, but tell me u have never been driving a boat or a vehicle and done something where your buddy goes hey man watch out!! i know everyone has had an extra eye a time or two.
Old     (rooster_cogburn)      Join Date: Feb 2006       05-09-2007, 10:08 AM Reply   
What I don't understand is this:

"Another passenger in the boat, Eric Brandon, 26, of Petaluma, was also arrested for being under the influence of alcohol, the sheriff's department said."

Public intoxication? Why was this guy arrested? I understand the driver and all, but not this guys issue. Tragic to say the least.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-09-2007, 1:19 PM Reply   
in another post on this an article and raw video from a news guy at the lake shows video of the boat with a large deep cooler full of beer bottles and looks like a jagr bottle...also there were others in the boat at the time, if you read the eyewitness statements a guy went over to the boat after it was met by the sherrif to offer help and they told him it was too late...
Old     (murphie07)      Join Date: Aug 2004       05-09-2007, 1:21 PM Reply   
This is a very tragic event, a son, friend and for all I know a father is dead. One might say one less dumb-ass on this earth so the rest of us boaters/car drivers are safer for it. I need some help understanding why the laws for a “small under 30 feet pleasure craft” boat are different then that for cars? We might all be safer if the laws we the same. My condolences to his family not only on their loss, but that they will have to endear for years to come the way he died.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-09-2007, 1:28 PM Reply
Old     (erik_c)      Join Date: Jan 2005       05-09-2007, 1:47 PM Reply   
Why did they have to name the boat brand? Would it not have been enoughf to say "ski boat".
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-09-2007, 1:50 PM Reply   
"so he was sitting near the back of the boat while the boat was running sorry i dont believe this is all on the driver."

No, it's all on the driver.
Old     (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       05-09-2007, 2:02 PM Reply   

You answered the same thing to me. I have to disagree a little bit. Yes, it is on the driver, but not ALL of it. You can only say don't stand there, and boss people around on your boat so much, and we don't know what happened in this situation so you can't say it's all on the driver. What if the driver wasn't the owner, the owner was trying to get the rope off the prop, communication went bad, and a dumb move was made. Some people don't understand the extreme consequences that can come with boats, and think the owner/driver is just being too strict. Bad friends? Yes. Do you have some? Probably, I do. Responsibility is majorily the drivers, but you can't just read this brief story and make your short comment. Not trying to argue, just want some more explanation from you, or some facts about the story first. That said, I'm off work, going to the lake to take a set, and have a Beer.
Old     (tcluv85)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-09-2007, 2:05 PM Reply   
Both parties share blame, it is sad though that one party can not be here to help with the mess. The one party that survived this incident will be 'dealing' with this mess for many years to come.

Incidents on the water that don't have alcohol involved, create long enough scars, I can't imagine the scars for a death incident. Sad, very sad.

In Washington State - Drinking alcohol and driving a boat will land you a night in jail, $4000 in lawyers fees (that is for one that will keep you from losing your vehicle license for a year) and a series of AA classes. Ask me how I know....Seafair, too many friends end up there. They know to call me because I formerly worked in the Justice and Public Safety arena and have a great attorney friend they all want to use for this situation.

Just don't do it. Just like in a car, have a DD on the boat. And if you know you have to trailer your boat at the end of the day, good idea to have two DDs.
Old    vanski            05-09-2007, 2:07 PM Reply   
Agreed John. When I'm backing, and especially before the transmission goes in reverse, I check to see if I'm clear. That includes all persons, ropes and objects. The responsibility is all on the driver. It is safe to wonder how much alcohol played a part, but it is a known fact that alcohol impairs judgement and the law will see it that way.
Old     (ironcross25)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-10-2007, 4:55 AM Reply   
Its always fun to have a beer or 2 or more but wait until your day is done and your on the shore unless you intend not to drive. We have a big summer bash at our lake every year, kegs, cook out, fun. I have always drank all day until I purchased a boat and have to worry about the safety of my crew. I drank when I was done for the day last summer.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-11-2007, 4:01 PM Reply   
Boating accident at Lake Sonoma claims a life

Sheriff's Department
County of Sonoma
Hall of Justice
2796 Ventura Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403 (707)565-2511 Bill Cogbill

Press Release

Boating accident at Lake Sonoma claims a life

Sunday, May 6, 2007 at 7:27, PM

On Sunday May 6th at 3:44 PM a Sheriff's patrol boat on Lake Sonoma was flagged down by another boater advising of a possible boating accident on the Warm Springs arm of Lake Sonoma near Jet Ski Cove. The Sheriff's boat responded to the scene and requested the Sheriff's Helicopter and the Army Corps of Engineers marine unit for assistance.

Upon arrival, deputies found an adult male stuck in the propeller of a Master craft ski boat. He was pronounced dead at the scene and was transported to the Coroner's Office after extrication. The identity of the male is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

After a preliminary investigation it appears that the deceased male was a passenger in the same boat and had been sitting on the rear deck near the propellers, while the boat was backing, just prior to the accident.

The operator of the Ski Boat was arrested for boating under the influence of alcohol with injury, and was booked into the Sonoma County Jail. He was identified as Will Dawson, age 25, a resident of Petaluma. The investigation into then incident is ongoing. Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Sgt. Pacheco at the Lake Sonoma Marine Unit at 707-433-0728.

This incident is a serious reminder to the boating public at the start of the summer boating season that alcohol consumption and safe boating do not mix.

Reference SCY070506029
Prepared by Lt. Greg Contos - Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department
Phone# 565-3941

Petaluma driver in boating death has DUI history
Boat Propeller Kills Man On Lake Sonoma
A boater arrested in connection with the death of his passenger in a suspected alcohol-related fatality on Lake Sonoma has a history of drunken driving, according to Sonoma County court records.

Will Dawson, 25, of Petaluma was arrested Sunday on suspicion of felony drunken driving of a boat after one of his passengers was killed when he fell or jumped off the rear swim step and was struck by the propeller, Sonoma County Sheriff's Sgt. Bob Pacheco said.

Deputies said Dawson was backing up the approximately 20-foot Mastercraft Xstar ski inboard motorboat near Rattlesnake Island in the southern arm of the lake when the incident occurred. The passenger was identified Monday as Mark Spier, 51, of Orland in Glenn County. He was wearing a life vest, Pacheco said, but his body became trapped under the boat and entwined with the propeller.

Since 1995, there have been at least 12 deaths at Lake Sonoma, four of which occurred as a result of boating accidents.

Dawson has two prior alcohol-related criminal cases in Sonoma County, including one initiated three months ago that is pending, according to court records.

Because of his history, police and prosecutors said, it is possible that the charges against Dawson in the Lake Sonoma case could eventually include a more serious felony such as vehicular manslaughter. Such a charge could potentially mean significant prison time if Dawson were convicted.

In December 2000, Dawson, who was 18 at the time, was arrested on a misdemeanor count of drunken driving.

A day after charges were filed, Dawson pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to three years' probation, ordered to complete first-offender's drunken driving school and had his driver's license restricted for three months.

A judge also ordered Dawson to serve two days in jail or complete the sentence on work release. According to court records, he failed to sign up for work release and was ordered to serve the time in custody. The records were unclear as to whether he completed the jail time.

His probation expired in January 2004.

On Feb. 16, Dawson was arrested and charged with misdemeanor drunken driving and an enhancement for a high blood-alcohol level.

The charges don't specify his blood-alcohol level. The legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

Dawson pleaded not guilty and is set to return to court Thursday for a potential change of plea, according to court records.

Assistant District Attorney Christine Cook said prosecutors would consider Dawson's prior arrests and the facts of the current case before filing charges.

"We will review every piece of evidence, including any relevant conduct on this occasion or others to determine what the appropriate charges, if any, may be," she said.

Dawson was released from jail after posting bail Sunday night and is scheduled to appear in court May 24 on the boating incident. He was booked on one felony and three misdemeanors.

Some laws governing operation of cars and boats are similar, but not necessarily those involving alcohol, Pacheco said.

The state Department of Motor Vehicles may suspend or revoke a driver's license based on the type and number of vessel-related violations, he said. But no driver's license is required to operate a boat.

There also are no laws against having open containers of alcohol on a boat, and drivers can drink while operating a vessel, Pacheco said. The same 0.08 percent blood-alcohol limit pertains to operating a vessel, however.

A second passenger in Dawson's boat, Eric Brandon, 26, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence.

Pacheco said sheriff's boating unit investigators expect to submit their reports to prosecutors in about 10 days.

Santa Rosa attorney Jill Ravitch, a former prosecutor who won the county's first second-degree murder case involving a drunken driver, said Dawson could face a wide range of potential charges depending on several factors.

Prosecutors have charged defendants with murder in fatal DUIs when they could prove the defendant knew of the potentially lethal dangers of driving while intoxicated, yet chose to act anyway. One way to prove that, prosecutors say, is to show the defendant was taught about the dangers in drunken drivers' school and disregarded the risks.

"It's going to depend upon what kind of mental state they can impute to him -- if it's regular negligence, criminal negligence, if it's reckless, if it's wanton disregard for the safety of others," Ravitch said of Dawson.
Old     (bftskir)      Join Date: Jan 2004       05-11-2007, 4:04 PM Reply   
so is he a murderer?


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 3:26 AM.

Home   Articles   Pics/Video   Gear   Wake 101   Events   Community   Forums   Classifieds   Contests   Shop   Search
Wake World Home


© 2016 eWake, Inc.    
Advertise    |    Contact    |    Terms of Use    |    Privacy Policy    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct    |    About Us