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Boat driver acquitted in fatal Shuswap Lake crash

Boaters enjoy a sunny day on Shuswap Lake in B.C.’s interior.

Jeff Bassett/The Globe and Mail

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has acquitted a 43-year-old man of criminal charges that were laid after a fatal boating accident in 2008.

Todd Kerr was charged with dangerous operation of a vessel causing death and dangerous operation of a vessel causing bodily harm.

On the night of Aug. 2, 2008, Mr. Kerr drove a nine-metre speed boat into an island on Shuswap Lake, killing a 24-year-old woman and injuring others in the boat.

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The court heard the boat was travelling at about 48 kilometres an hour in the dark and nobody onboard saw the island until the collision.

Justice Robert Powers ruled Mr. Kerr's actions were negligent because he was operating the boat at a higher speed than a reasonable person would have.

But Judge Powers acquitted Mr. Kerr, saying he was left with a reasonable doubt because the Crown didn't prove criminal liability.

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