Updated: Three year jail sentence in case of fatal Shuswap boat crash

Leon Reinbrecht will serve three years in prison for criminal negligence after crashing his boat into a houseboat six years ago.

  • Jun. 2, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Ken Brown

By Tim Petruk, Kamloops This Week

The driver of a speedboat that crashed into a houseboat in the Shuswap six years ago, killing the houseboat pilot, has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Leon Reinbrecht was convicted on one count each of criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm following a trial last year. B.C. Supreme Court Justice Sheri Donegan handed down her sentence on Thursday.

Reinbrecht, 54, was behind the wheel of a recklessly driven speedboat on the night of July 3, 2010, following a post-Canada Day fireworks display on Magna Bay.

The lake was busy, court heard, and witnesses said they saw Reinbrecht’s boat pulling donuts and speeding close to shore.

Ken Brown was at the helm of his houseboat when Reinbrecht’s speedboat collided with it nearly head-on. Brown died at the scene and other people on both boats suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

“While Mr. Reinbrecht did not set out to harm anyone that night, he took a risk,” Donegan said.

“There was evidence in this case of extreme behaviour, bravado and machismo.

“Mr. Reinbrecht made what can only be described as terrible decisions that had catastrophic consequences.”

At trial, defence lawyer Joe Doyle argued Brown’s houseboat was not properly lit. Following the crash, investigators determined at least one of the houseboat’s lights was not functioning properly.

After Reinbrecht was sentenced, Brown’s sister spoke to reporters outside the Kamloops courthouse.

“The time given to him will be well-served,” said Patti Oliver.

“It won’t bring back Ken.”

Oliver said the family is not unhappy with the three-year sentence.

“Three? It’s kind of the maximum we thought he’d get,” she said.

“He still is responsible for a lot of pain, people suffering.

“We just hope he doesn’t appeal.”

After the sentencing, defence lawyer Fred Kaatz said he and Doyle are “strongly considering” an appeal of Reinbrecht’s conviction.

If an appeal is granted, Reinbrecht could apply for bail.

Just Posted

Black bear spotted near Hillcrest Elementary

The bear was sighted at around 4 p.m. after school was out

Salmon Arm skater captains national champion Junior A hockey squad

Nathan Plessis was wearing the C for the Brooks Bandits as they beat the Prince George Spruce Kings

VIDEO: Fire damaged Salmon Arm 7-Eleven demolished

7-Eleven representative says company interested opening elsewhere in Salmon Arm

Blind Bay residents want reduced speed limit

Residents along Golf Course Drive concerned with speeding drivers and risk to pedestrians

Support sought for family of mother who died at Shuswap campground

Chase Fire and Rescue Association hosting May 25 fundraiser

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Multiple black bear sightings in residential area near Okanagan elementary

Pictures of the bear have been posted on the Armstrong Community Forum frequently

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Nevada court orders former Vancouver man to pay back $21.7M to investors

The commission says Michael Lathigee committed fraud over a decade ago

Most Read