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LeachLaw

New Jersey State Police trooper finds body

An 18-year-old Bayville man was sentenced in Berkeley Township Municipal Court earlier this week in a criminal case brought against him after a fatal canoe accident in Barnegat Bay that occurred in June. The judge acknowledged that the facts remain unclear regarding what happened surrounding that tragic boating accident.
The judge reportedly said at sentencing, “The only facts we have from the incident come from the defendant.” The $500 fine imposed and the lack of clarity did little to provide closure for the family of the victim of that tragedy.
The sketchy details of the boating accident indicate that two friends of 10 years reportedly took a canoe ride in Barnegat Bay around 3:00 a.m. the morning of June 10. The two teens are believed to have attended a post-graduation party before venturing out in the canoe. Police say that, “For some unknown reason, the canoe overturned and capsized.”
The teen who survived the accident reportedly swam to safety and retrieved the canoe. It is believed that the survivor then went home without telling anyone about the canoe accident.
An off-duty New Jersey State Police trooper found the body of the teen who died in the canoe accident roughly 14 hours later. State police say that they “couldn’t obtain the information until the following day.” A trooper says that the survivor of the accident “had tampered with the contents of the canoe.”An autopsy of the victim of the canoe accident showed the young man died of drowning.
The judge acknowledged at sentencing that the survivor appeared remorseful, but also said, “There’s no question it’s a tragedy for everyone involved here, especially the parents of the deceased.”
The survivor originally faced a charge of reckless operation of a boating vessel in the accident, but the charge was dropped. The teen was ordered to pay a fine for leaving the scene of a fatal boating accident.

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