Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Buzzards Bay
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Here is the latest I've seen on this subject. Mr. Bevins' claim of adjusting his GPS when the accident occured.
NEW BEDFORD — The owner of the powerboat involved in a July 18 accident that killed a Dartmouth man was resetting his GPS system in the moments before the crash, he claimed in a written note to the Coast Guard boarding team just before invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.
Fred M. Bevins III of Gloucester was issued a summons by the New Bedford District Court clerk magistrate Friday on a criminal complaint of homicide by vessel officially filed by the state Environmental Police, who led the investigation. He was ordered to appear to answer the charge on Sept. 19.
Sgt. Richard Sylvia, the investigator whose report was the basis of the complaint, wrote that by the time Mr. Bevins' 63-foot boat arrived on its own power at the Fairhaven Shipyard, Mr. Bevins had already gone silent.
"I met with the operator of the MV Reasons, Bevins, who stated that he had already given a statement to the Coast Guard and had been in touch with his attorney via cell phone and was advised to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights" against self-incrimination, he wrote in his report.
With that, Sgt. Sylvia said, he ordered both the Reasons and the Priority, the sailboat owned by David J. Walsh, 64, of Dartmouth, hauled out of the water "for investigation and analysis."
On the recording of Mr. Bevins' mayday call, he said: "We just had a collision with a sailboat. We ran over that sailboat. There's one missing. The guy who was at the helm is missing. Hold on a sec. The guy I swear he came out of nowhere."
Mr. Bevins' written statement said, "I was setting waypoint on GPS, looked up to see sailboat in front of me. No time to avoid crash."
After studying the available data and interviewing eyewitnesses, investigators concluded that Mr. Walsh's boat, which measured 35 feet, had the right of way under international navigation rules since it was fully under sail.
"In addition, video from the Coast Guard helicopter shows both sails in the up position, flapping," said the report.
Examining the damage to the boats, police painted a picture of a horrific crash that threw Mr. Walsh into the water with fatal injuries.
"Point of impact and angle of impact along with the severe damage to the sailboat's helm area, hull structure and transfer evidence from the motorboat along with the damage and transfer evidence on the bottom of the hull, shafts and propellers of the motorboat are consistent with the motorboat striking the sailboat and running over the helm/stern of the sailboat," said the report.
An autopsy by the medical examiner classified the cause of Mr. Walsh's death as "blunt force trauma to the head, torso and extremities."
"Preliminary findings in this case indicate that there was an insufficient lookout being maintained on the M/V Reasons (as required by state and federal law) and that the S/V Priority had the right of way in terms of the rules of nautical passage," the report concluded.
If Mr. Bevins is convicted as charged, he will be subject to a prison term of no less than 30 days and no more than 30 months, a fine of up to $3,000 and mandatory loss of his driver's license for 10 years.