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Jury weighs guilt of man accused in fatal boat crash

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Changing sky over Lake Washington.

SEATTLE (AP) — The jury is deliberating the case of a suburban real estate agent accused of causing a Lake Washington boat collision that killed a teacher and injured two other people.

The Seattle Times reports that 47-year-old Richard Hicks of Renton is charged with one count of homicide by watercraft and two counts of assault by watercraft. The jury went into deliberations Monday after hearing testimony since July 6.

Prosecutors allege that a 25-foot motorboat operated by Hicks was traveling at high speed when it collided with a 21-foot sailboat carrying seven people in July 2014. Three people from the sailboat were tossed into the water, including 33-year-old Melissa Protz who died of multiple fractures.

Hicks admitted that he had been drinking before the crash, but says the collision was due to an error the sailboat operator made.

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3 comments

  • JeffreyBHubbard

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  • REI

    I was almost run over by a motorboat in this exact spot when I was kayaking at night with a light! I capsized from the wake and the boat didn’t slow or I believe care. I think that the only solution is to lock-up folks who drive powerboats over kayaker or sailboats! These people are responsible for not running over unpowered water craft according to the Coast Guard!!

  • Christine

    Hicks admitted he was drinking then he wrecked and killed someone! I’m sure Hicks does not take responsibility as he blames the sailboat therefore he should be forced to take responsibility . Mr Hicks you are not ENTITLED to kill people!