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Contact Go Lake Travis

Charges possible for construction firm in October boat crash

Posted: Wed, 13 Jan 2016 12:14 PM - 6,945 Readers

By: Jenni Lee




A source close to the investigation into a deadly boat crash on Lake Austin that killed two in October told KVUE's Jenni Lee that the Travis County District Attorney's Office will soon decide whether or not the company building the boat dock will face criminal charges.

Shawn Hurwitz and Jennifer Walley died when their boat crashed into a steel barge connected to the dock construction on Oct. 11. That source told Lee that the toxicology report for Hurwitz, who was driving the ski boat, shows his blood alcohol level at .27, more than three times the legal limit.

Michael Johnson lives across from the crash site, which is near the Emma Long boat ramp.



"I'm actually glad that the powers to be are taking the bull by the horns, so to speak, and moving forward with taking care of what they should be taking care of and enforcing laws and rules," said Johnson.
Johnson and other neighbors unsuccessfully fought the construction of the boat dock, citing safety and environmental concerns. They don't understand why the city granted a construction permit when there's an agreement in place that protects the land along the shoreline.

"There are lights out there now where there wasn't before. There's a tremendous amount of light, at night, the place is lit up like a small town... It's amazing it wasn't lit up that first night because had the lights been there, someone would more than likely to, they would have seen it versus not seeing it," said Johnson.

Another neighbor sent KVUE a picture of what the barge looked like at night around the time of the wreck. There is a single yellow light visible in the image.

The source close to the boat crash investigation said the barge didn't have enough lighting and that may have contributed to the crash. Johnson said if the Travis County DA's office doesn't press charges, it would send the wrong message.

"That just paves the way and makes it okay for other people to get away with minimal or no work whatever for safety," said Johnson.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is expected to release the findings from their investigation as soon as the district attorney's office makes a decision.


*  Story Contributed by: Jenni Lee



[edit]



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