Speedboat capt. gets four years in crash that killed two
The captain of a speedboat was sentenced to four years in prison for negligence after causing an accident that killed two people, the Midden-Nederland court ruled on Tuesday. Arnoud H., 51, was prosecuted for cruising a Vinkeveen lake at an excessive speed while under the influence of alcohol when he allegedly barreled through a smaller boat carrying four passengers.
Arnoud H. stated he was not aware he hit a boat, thinking he hit an object like a buoy. He continued on his way, eventually returning home, and leaving the four people from the other boat behind.
Leusden residents Ernst Noordijk, 51, and Johan Koetje, 42, were killed in the nighttime crash. Police caught up with H. at his house. He claims that he did not start drinking until after he was off the boat.
The speedboat also had no lighting on at the time of the accident, the court heard.
Though H. was deemed responsible for the accident, the court said it would not convict him of manslaughter, only of negligently causing the deaths. It said there is no proof of intent to cause a collision, in clearing him of the more serious charge.
The public prosecutor had demanded eight years in prison in closing arguments. The court did take into consideration the hit-and-run nature of the accident, it said.
Arnoud H. will also have to pay over 300 thousand euros in compensation to the two others who were on the boat, as well as six loved ones of those who were killed. He is also not allowed to regain his boating certification for a period of five years.