Thursday, August 16, 2001

Driver charged after woman killed by boat in Lake Erie

The Associated Press

        EUCLID, Ohio — A man was charged on Wednesday with killing a swimmer with his speedboat.

        Carol Patch, 53, of Cleveland, was waiting to water ski in Lake Erie near the city east of Cleveland Sunday night when she was struck by the boat. Ms. Patch tossed 10-year-old Samantha Trommetter out of the way as the boat was bearing down on them.

        Ms. Patch died of injuries to her abdomen and pelvis.

        The Ohio Division of Natural Resources charged David Lowe, 48, of Euclid, with aggravated vehicular homicide, a charge that carries a maximum 8-year prison sentence.

        He also was charged with operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, which carries a maximum 6-month sentence and a $1,000 fine, and reckless operation, which carries a 60-day jail sentence and a $500 fine.

        Ms. Patch and several friends were having a party Sunday at a private Euclid beach owned by a neighborhood club.

        It was the seventh boating fatality this year on Lake Erie, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources watercraft division. The agency estimates that half of the 3.5 million people who go boating each year in Ohio do so on Lake Erie.

        Statewide, there have been 16 boating-related deaths this year.


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