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VIEXILE 08-20-2002 07:57 AM

Vermont Boat Operator Charged
 
Here''s the article from the Concord, NH Monitor:

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - A sailboat operator whose vessel capsized last month killing two children pleaded innocent to new charges on Monday.

George Dean Martin, 46, of Charlotte, was arraigned in Vermont District Court in Middlebury on charges of operating while intoxicated with death resulting.

Police initially said there was not enough evidence to show his alleged intoxication caused the boat to capsize. Martin pleaded innocent last month to a misdemeanor charge of boating while intoxicated.

However, Addison County State''s Attorney John Quinn told WCAX-TV on Monday that investigators had found evidence Martin''s alleged condition caused the accident.

"Mr. Martin then abruptly turned the wheel of the boat all the way to the left and essentially gunned the engine and the witnesses will say that," Quinn told WCAX-TV. "Martin caused the boat to tip to the right and roll over."

Melissa Mack, 9, and her 4-year-old brother, Trevor, died after the 26-foot MacGregor sailboat they were riding in overturned on Lake Champlain.

Their sister, 8-year-old Dallas Mack, was rescued by one of the eight adults who had been on board, police said. The children''s parents, Steven and Laura Mack, were among the passengers on the boat.

Martin is a family friend of the children who died, according to his lawyer, Richard Rubin of Barre.

If convicted, Martin faces up to five years in prison on each of the two charges.


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