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

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Chase RCMP have been focusing during February on prohibited drivers and stolen vehicles in the North Shuswap. (File photo)
RCMP crack down on prohibited drivers in North Shuswap

Help from community aids with arrests in Anglemont and Scotch Creek

Work on replacement of the Solsqua-Sicamous bridge is underway. (File Photo)
Solsqua-Sicamous Bridge work on pace for June 2021 completion

Replacement of the 100-year-old span began last August.

Craig Gruden, (Little) Donny Kleinfelder, (Big) Donny Kleinfelder, Dale Kristensen, Dave Schwandt, Alyssa Schwandt, Tristan Schwandt and Angela Kirstein will feature in Backroad Truckers, a Barriere-based History channel series. (CORUS Entertainment photo)
Shuswap auto recycler breaks out of Rust Valley for Backroad Truckers

White Lake’s Dave Schwandt joins Big Donny Kleinfelder on new History Channel series

The Salmon Arm Economic Development Society released a video on Feb. 22, 2021 promoting agriculture and food production in Salmon Arm and the Shuswap. (SAEDS image)
New video promotes Salmon Arm staples of agriculture, food production

Three-minute video from economic development featuring local producers receives appreciative reviews

Site C will go ahead, one year later and $5.3 billion more, the NDP announced Feb 26. (BC Hydro image)
B.C. to go ahead with Site C dam, with new $16B budget and delayed to 2025

Reviews recommend more oversight, beefed up foundation stability work

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and seven new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Parkview Elementary Kindergarten student Siddhalee Martselos was among many students and staff at the school participating in the Pink Shirt Day anti-bullying event on Feb. 24. (Parkview Elementary/Facebook)
In Photos: Parkview Elementary’s many shades of Pink Shirt Day

Many students and staff at the school dressed up for the annual anti-bullying day.

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

NorKam secondary student Karis Wilson in the outfit that got her sent home from school on Feb. 23, 2021
Kamloops-Thompson school district drafts new dress code policy after students sent home

The new policy is being created after a NorKam secondary student was sent home because of what she was wearing

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

A local aerial photographer's drone was stolen from his car Feb. 24. (Kyle Froud photo)
New North Okanagan business deflated by thieves

Aerial photographer’s drone stolen from car overnight

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives to view the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Death threats mount against Dr. Bonnie Henry, sparking condemnation from Horgan, Dix

Henry has become a staple on televisions in homes across British Columbia since January 2020

Most Read