Trial hears victim in boat crash was intoxicated

The man who was killed at the helm of his houseboat was highly intoxicated at the time, according to his toxicology report.

  • Apr. 17, 2015 12:00 p.m.
Aftermath: A speedboat sits embedded in a houseboat after a fatal collision on Shuswap Lake in 2010.

Aftermath: A speedboat sits embedded in a houseboat after a fatal collision on Shuswap Lake in 2010.

By Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week

The man who was killed at the helm of his houseboat in a 2010 crash on Shuswap Lake was highly intoxicated at the time, according to his toxicology report.

The report, entered as an exhibit in the ongoing B.C. Supreme Court trial of Leon Reinbrecht and obtained by KTW, shows Ken Brown had a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit to operate a vehicle as well as elevated levels of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, in his system.

Reinbrecht was charged with one count each of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm following the July 3, 2010, crash at Magna Bay following a post-Canada Day fireworks display on Shuswap Lake.

The trial, which began in February, has heard Reinbrecht’s speedboat collided head-on with a houseboat being piloted by Brown.

Witnesses have said they saw and heard a speedboat being driven erratically prior to the crash.

Other witnesses have offered conflicting testimony about the lighting on the houseboat at the time of the collision.

During cross-examination of an RCMP marine-vessel accident investigator yesterday, defence lawyer Joe Doyle raised more questions about the visibility of the houseboat.

RCMP Cpl. Richard Harry said a mechanical inspection following the crash showed the houseboat’s masthead light — a white light in the centre of the bow of a boat — was not working.

“The masthead light did not appear to turn on,” he said.

That would make the houseboat non-compliant with Transport Canada regulations.

Harry said all boaters are entitled to expect that other vessels are operating following Transport Canada regulations and admitted that the houseboat was not in compliance at the time of the crash.

“The houseboat was not displaying all of its required lights,” he said.

A previous witness, a passenger on Reinbrecht’s speedboat, described the collision as “running into an invisible wall.”

Harry was the Crown’s final witness. The defence is expected to call two expert witnesses next week.